“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” This quote from Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change) describes succinctly the problem most people have when communicating. Most courses and trainings refer to ‘active listening’ as a desirable practice, yet it teaches people to listen to the words, the content, and then repeat it back to the speaker.
In contrast, deep listening as I understand it is listening for the meaning behind the words, is listening for the feeling that the words are pointing it. In a way, it is listening with a sense or curiosity WITHOUT checking with our own mind whether it makes sense to us, we can relate to it, whether it is stupid/reckless/naive to name just a few examples. If we would listen that way (checking with our own mind) we would only listen to our own thoughts about something and not to the other person. (more…)
Number two of the mistakes that kill the love in relationships is the conviction that MY view of things is right and YOUR views of things is wrong. I don’t think there has ever been a couple that presented for relationship counselling, coaching, or therapy that was not caught in that erroneous assumption.
To be fair, it is not only an affliction couples suffer from, but human kind in general follows that strict line of thinking. Hence the fights, wars, and conflicts we observe throughout history and present day circumstances. How much suffering happened because people thought they were right and hence their actions were justified: from human sacrifice, to slavery, to witch hunt, to wars, oppression, human rights …. the list is endless. (more…)
Beliefs form an integral part of our experience and determine to a large extend our behaviour. Indeed, for many people, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or social beliefs are at the core of those things that are most important to them. They dedicate their lives to serve their political, religious, or social convictions.
On one hand the infinitely different beliefs people, groups, and cultures hold have always caught people’s interest. We travel into the farthest corners of the world to experience different cultures and we marvel at and are inspired by the architectural expressions of their beliefs that differ so much from ours. (more…)
In the context of client work the reflective practitioner has to ask him/herself continuously: “Who is the person behind the professional label and what does he/she bring to the table”? Such self-reflections are necessary to assure that practitioners do not get caught up in their own past experiences when approaching those they are working with.
To do so practitioners have to thoroughly question what their contribution to a certain incident is. This ability to step back and into the ‘observer’ position is also known as becoming the observing ego. It allows practitioners to closely examine the interactions between themselves and the client. How are your affective, behavioural, and cognitive experiences contributing to a problem situation?
Some years ago I watched Oprah as she interviewed a guy who wrote a book that would once and for all explain to women how to be in order for their man/partner to love her forever…I have to admit, I logged in to Amazon and got the book. Why wouldn't you want to miss out on such valuable information?