Listening, it sounds so simple. It is something we do naturally every day. But do we really listen to what someone is saying. In actuality, listening is a talent; it is a skill that needs to be developed to be truly effective.
Think about it; when was the last time that you really felt as if you were listened to, that the receiver of the information really heard what you said? If you are like most, your day-to-day interactions with others tend to provide surface listening. This means that the person you are speaking with is probably thinking how what you said impacts him or her. For example, has someone ever inquired about your day, you proceed to tell the person and next thing you know you are hearing about how that person’s day unfolded?
In today’s society listening is further distracted by technology, the bing of an email coming into an inbox, or the ring of a cellphone. You are talking to someone and that person is typing a text reply, checking Facebook, or looking at a news item online. Imagine if the person you were speaking with really listened, gave you her undivided attention, and was focused only on you, what you said, how you said it, and she acknowledged you.
There are three levels of listening (Level I, II, and III). They say that most listening happens at Level 1, surface listening described above. These are the conversations we generally have with friends and family. At this level the focus is usually on ourselves and not the person speaking. Think back on conversations you had today, do most seem to fit in this category? Now this is not necessarily bad, except when you really want to be heard.
Level II listening is a deeper lever of listening; this is a truly focused listening. At this level the person listening is focused only on the other person, there are no distractions. This is the level of listening that you will experience in a coaching session. It is this skill, combined with the coach’s ability to ask questions that makes coaching successful.
The Level III listening is the deepest level of listening, and most people have not been listened to at this level. The listener uses intuition as much as the spoken word. This type of listening has been described to be like hearing radio waves, the radio waves are invisible yet the music is heard; in coaching at level III the coach hears the radio waves.
Would you like to really be listened to? This is not something you just have to imagine, you can hire a coach and you will experience what it is like to be listened to on a deeper level, maybe even at Level III.