Notice when your mind wanders - Deepstash

Notice when your mind wanders

As with mindful breathing, your thoughts will wander. 

When you realize that your mind has drifted, let go of the thoughts and return your attention to what the person is saying.

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When you get fairly good at listening mindfully without speaking, begin to experiment with offering brief verbal comments that express kindness, or ask questions that deepen understanding. 

The key is to keep the focus on the speaker, not to bend it around to yourself. You might try, “Oh, that sounds rough. What happened next?”

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When the other person is speaking, just listen. Stay mentally active and alert. Use nonverbal signals like nodding or smiling to let the person know you’re tuned in.

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When you’re in conversation, set your mind to being present, receptive, and ready to listen with compassion. 

Bring yourself into the moment with a few deep breaths and ask yourself: What is this person communicating beyond the words they use? 

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Mindful listening

This constant, low-grade sense of urgency can impede genuine communication. 
Mindful listening - 
focused attention to what another person is saying, without judging or having an agendais a foundational skill that is rarely practised anywhere.

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Tuning in to your own body can give you valuable information about your direct experience when listening.

Is there tightness in your chest, uneasiness in your belly? Or do you feel a lightness and a sense of joy?

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Participate
  • Nod your understanding and make eye contact with the speaker.
  • Ask clarifying questions.
  • Maintain body language that shows you are interested.
  • Avoid slouching in your chair and looking bored.
  • Take notes, but continue to stay focused on the speaker, looking up often.

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We mistake listening as easy because it looks passive and instinctive, but in reality it’s hard work. Really listening (and not just appearing to listen) requires intense concentration and a good deal of mental energy.

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Listen to Learn, Not to Be Polite

Listen from a place of curiosity, not generosity. True dialogue does not happen when we pretend to listen, and it certainly cannot happen if we are not listening at all.

If you ever finish a conversation and learned nothing surprising, you weren’t truly listening.

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