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Listening with an Open Mind & Heart
The foundation for this blog is Listening Part One. Are you ready to move out of downloading? Let’s go.
I hear you!
I recently interacted with someone who explained technical processes with marketing. I couldn’t fit any of the information into my elementary understanding. Words fell like rain drops I maneuvered to grab with my mouth like a kid when it rained a lot. One, two, three drops might have landed.
I repeated, “I hear you.” Really though, I had to make sense of the words. I didn’t have a lick of technical knowledge about the topic to fit into my past learning.
To say “I hear you” isn’t a flippant answer to dismiss a speaker. Not for me!
Hearing aligns with an open mind and heart.
Open Mind & Heart
Let’s practice listening “to hear” and step back into the downloading place, the prison of the mind. Remember it’s a prison of your own knowledge. But this time, you want to listen like a scientist, not like a politician.
A scientist looks for differences. So, you walk to the window from your room. You observe what is happening on the ground out there.
The outside-of-doors is an obvious contrast to the facsimile of your past learning. Contradictions are evident. Better functions are in plain sight. What surprises you is that the person delivering the information doesn’t look like you.
To say the heart tells you something presupposes listening outside of the prison of your own room. And you want to step out of the prison of the mind. Leave the past learning for a moment.
Step into the person’s shoes on the ground. Shut down (shut up) your own thinking and listen, watch, learn. Remain next to the person on the ground outside. Be aware of emerging curiosity altering your information.
The heart welcomes another person’s point-of-view into past learning.
The Point for Leaders
Scharmer’s research suggests that we step out of the prison of our mind first. Standing next to another’s station is a place of innovation. It’s a place of an emerging future with a willingness to connect.
Are you okay with polarization? In the world, in politics, in work, in organizations, in communities or even in your personal life? I’m not. Listen to yourself the next time you say, “I hear you.” Are you hearing with an open mind & heart? Or, are you ignoring the speaker?
As leaders, we work to bridge gaps of knowledge. Leaders deliver new learning. Leaders are not dismissive. Leaders are not angered when questioned about their knowledge. Leaders don’t belittle another’s past learning. Leaders choose to share past learning. When linked together, leaders pioneer collective change efforts.
How open is your mind and heart to listen? Foolish leaders spew out flippant words. They divide. Wise leaders navigate disagreeableness with the heart and mind.
How is your hearing today?
Social justice is a group effort.
Understanding human systems.
Emphasizing equity and equality for all.
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