Deep Listening is the super power that makes you wiser and more connected. It is interesting how few people use that superpower. ~ Glennon Doyle Melton
During my morning ritual of scrolling through Instagram, I listened to Glennon Doyle Melton’s message and it was all about listening more and talking less.
My biggest takeaway from her 12 minute commentary, came in or around the last minute of her message. She said that in her house, everyone is allowed to talk, but not everything is about a solution nor a resolution. That what one has to say doesn’t need to be negotiated nor minimized but simply heard and that sharing in that way is a gift.
So much of what she said made perfect sense, and I can say that I am often guilty of talking more than I need to be. I have been working on it, especially in my weekly Think Tank group, but I know I can be doing a better job.
The message got me thinking of a dinner I was invited to last fall. This was a random group of creatives (uber creatives) and I knew NO ONE. I was totally uncomfortable, but stepped outside of that and showed up, took in the room and did what I do best in these situations…observed.
When we finally made it to our table, took our seats and ordered a few things, the “organizer” set the intention for the evening. He talked briefly about why we were all there and then asked one thing: he asked us all to hold space for the person who was sharing. It was our job to be an active listener and simply listen while the other person spoke. I instantly bought into this and was able to be a witness rather than a participant. I was able to listen to a bunch of strangers, sharing about where they came from and the projects they were currently working on and it was captivating, interesting and eye opening.
A few days later I met up with a group of friends, most of which hadn’t seen each other for years. Taking what I had learned a few days prior, at first I just witnessed. Witnessed the mini conversations happening all at the same time. Lots of wasted moments where we may have been able to learn something from each other. But after we ordered, I asked them if they wanted to “play this game”? I was immediately shut down and when that happened I realized that this might be a muscle that many need to exercise.
We were never taught deep, open hearted listening. We have not been taught a set of rules or a structure that shows us how to listen. Instead, we have been taught to defend, provide an opinion, fix. In the end, what we all really want is to feel validated. Am I right?
So, as I take myself into this week and day 65 of Quarantine, I will listen more on the various Zoom calls that I will be attending this week, I will listen to my kids more and not offer a solution and I will listen to myself more!
If you are interested in listening to Glennon Doyle Melton’s IGTV message, you can find it here.