Getting to the wholesome ‘what is so’, relies on quality communication which in turn relies on quality listening.
Quality listening relies on going past the censorship of our ego and that is where most of us get checkmated.
Although I talk about listening, the ego doesn’t actually listen. The ego judges and projects. Do not be fooled, the ego will never be capable of any quality listening. Never and thus we hardly ever access the wholesome ‘what is so’ of the people around us. Quality listening is being able to see and understand the situation from someone else’s position, truly understand it, and going beyond projecting our own Little Voice’s (ego) thoughts as to what we think they think.
It is in the listening for the bigger picture that we can progress from an awkward situation to a win/win for everybody.
Our ego listens through massive filters, causing us to get stuck in awkward situations which quality listening would have solved in no time.
When John and I were not that long together, 19 year old nephew asked if he could live with us so he could go to university in our town. As my daughters were not living with us, we said; “sure”.
As soon as nephew moved in my mother instincts and doormatism instantly took over. I had to make sure he felt at home and looked after.
John saw it all happening and had a conversation with me about my desire to mother nephew, suggesting that it would NOT serve him to be mothered.
Nephew himself had no complaints, he was used to being mothered and lapped it up.
What I never heard were John’s intentions for nephew to become a well resourced adult.
Thus we had a situation of non-agreement caused by non-listening.
John wanted me to stop mothering and I wanted him to butt out and stop being so harsh on nephew.
In the meantime life went on. Nephew was happy knowing that he was on a good wicket while he had all the freedom to live life as a carefree student.
The funny thing is that I started to resent running after nephew.
After two years nephew had become so comfortable with his new home, that rather than becoming a well resourced adult, he behaved like a dependent mommy’s boy. John brought this to my attention and suggested that it would serve nephew best if he was to leave.
Well I heard that as another criticism and another nasty act by an uncaring male.
John seeing that again he would not get an agreement with this filter-rich listening by me, told me that despite my take on things, he still wanted nephew to move on for his own best interest.
Cowardly I attended the talk in which nephew was told to move on, with me not knowing what to think or say. Of course nephew did not like being told to leave.
John’s decision however proved a good one; moving on did do nephew a world of good.
It is obvious that a weak basecamp with poor listening skills is easily confused.
My saving grace was though that I did ask questions afterwards and eventually I could acknowledge that different views exist and that mine were not necessarily in nephew’s best interest.
I was honest enough to see that my filtered listening protected MY agenda and had nothing to do with finding out what John was on about or what would be best for nephew.
Once I listened to John with a genuine interest to get his point of view, I could see the wholesome ‘what is so’ of John’s decision to have him move on and I became peaceful about it.
Listening beyond the ego filters is a tough assignment though; let’s see how you get on with these challenges.
- What did your Little Voice say when you read it can’t listen? Did it agree or straight away disagree?
- Give it a go this week; listen to someone who you are having difficulties with in order to hear the wholesome ‘what is so’ from their point of view.
Listening beyond what your ego, your Little Voice, wants to hear is a big topic on WomenLikeMe. If you are serious to become a strong basecamp, reading this blog is a great start. Joining us on WomenLikeMe where you get to seriously work on developing your listening skills is the next step. Now you know what listening skills can do, join me on WomenLikeMe if you are in a position to do so.