Date: 31st May 2021
When we look at a typical conversation we would logically perceive the one talking as the ‘giver’. Giving information to the person listening, the ‘receiver’ of this information. This is the perceived situation in the majority of conversations. It is how as children we are brought up, schools teach and the way businesses get their list of tasks achieved. Words are given by the communicator which are received by the listener and there we have it – Job Done!!!
If we look at this through the lens of attention these roles are actually reversed. Where the ‘giver’ is actually the listener, listening with full attention to the ‘receiver’ who is the one doing the majority of the talking. Understanding this and applying it in your life takes communication to a completely different level.
“When attention is freely given it creates space”
There is no competition involved in who knows what. The words are absorbed and the listening mind/s are present and have specific awareness around asking questions. These questions then further develop the dialogue.
When we give attention our minds are no longer trying to out think one another. Competing for space and time in a hierarchical nature. This space and time is shared and given by the listener in a supportive environment. As the listener, it is not about what you know, it is about expanding the awareness and understanding of what is being said. This is the trick, our minds are not focused on past or present experiences. They are also not trying to manipulate or create the future, or get ahead of the conversation. They are present, quiet and full of wonder, seeing what evolves with each new word. The listening mind is alert to finding the actual truth in the words and conversation being presented. With awareness, this then lights up the path making the unknown, known for the person communicating (the true receiver).
“This environment needs permission and trust and once it is granted curiosity soars, connection deepens and learning is accelerated”
Full attention is a human superpower. In my opinion it creates the pathway for relationships and teams to reach their potential. It unlocks your own ability, to connect at a deeper level. To greater understanding, wisdom and of course other humans. Once activated within yourself this ripples through your family, friends, office and wider network. Full attention feeds our minds with the nutrition it needs to actually work. To be able to blow past the negativity of our own thoughts, and those of others, to really see what can be achieved.
“Attention thrives in vulnerability, grows through curiosity and comes alive to play in connection”
So when you are next in dialogue, or at a team event, focus on where the attention is at. Who is open, who is closed, who is being supportive and who is being controlling. See if you can feel when the environment is right for full attention to really be given. It always starts with you. YOU create the environment. If you are the main communicator, are you confident enough to use vulnerability to raise the awareness and wisdom of everyone in the room? Or, if you are there from a listening perspective, can you move past your own thoughts, ideas and knowledge? From here you can create the environment and connect with the words and the people speaking them. It is here where we start to discover each other’s potential. It always starts with YOU. Let the journey begin!!
Posted in: My Thoughts
Connection has always been the core principle in my life. It has taken many years and numerous life experiences to allow this to rise to the surface. It has been an inside out project, supported by hundreds of people…