Two ears and one mouth
For years I have heard the phrase, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak”. That quote has been around since 55AD, credited to Epictetus.
I am a bit embarrassed to admit that it wasn’t until I went to Columbia University to become a certified executive coach that I learned how to really listen. Listening to others is a gift, especially when you listen with a sense of curiosity and an open heart. It can be very powerful. With all that is going on around us, let’s talk less and listen more.
“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.”
Bryant H. McGill
Maybe it’s time to listen to your body? This book excerpt from Mark Hyman, M.D. talks about how what we eat impacts our mental health. It presents a compelling argument to, you guessed it, eat more fruits and veggies and less sugar and starch. This is not new for our physical health but this connection to anxiety and panic attacks got my attention.
In the listening framework we learned at Columbia, from the Co-Active Coaching model, the authors talk about three levels of listening:
- Level 1 – our awareness is on ourselves. We often have a story going on in our own head and are not fully present.
- Level 2 – there is a sharp focus on the other person.
- Level 3 – you are truly in sync with that person.
Try getting to Level 2 or even Level 3 and notice the impact on what you actually hear and how you connect to others.