Asking Good Questions & Active Listening
Have you tried this, done this and then gone to this link? I have all the solutions to what you just said so listen up.
Oh wait, were you actually asked?
In 2022, we’re full of wisdom. We read a lot, watch endless Tik Toks and follow theories of random people in far-flung lands we’ve never met. Psychologists, Doctors and Business owners have so many social profiles that offer advice and share learnings about thought leadership. If they’re sharing their thoughts with conviction, it must be the right thing for us, right?
Moving out of lockdowns and finding a new normal and a new us, it can be tempting to ask around to see what everyone else is doing. We spent so long locked up with our thoughts, it was bound to have some impact on our behaviours and interactions.
- Our social skills have changed and we interact at a different level.
- Listening skills have weakened and so, we’ve become more and more of a species that speaks to think rather than thinking before speaking.
When sitting in training sessions , the number one skill I highlight is active listening. Being aware in the moment, fully immersing yourself when someone is speaking to you and ensuring that the other person is able to share fully preferably, without judgement.
We don’t listen to understand, we listen to respond. Our minds process information 6 times faster than our mouths speak words. This means that naturally, our instincts are to speak back and to give some insight.
As we listen to respond, we can quite easily go into problem-solving mode. We want to share everything that is in our head and give advice. We feel uncomfortable not giving some insight from our wise minds and so, we speak.
When it comes to sharing endless advice, this can have a profound effect on the person we’re speaking to, in a number of ways.
As is taught in every coaching course, each of us is innately wise and know what’s best for us. We have an inner intuition which if guided properly, leads to the best answers.
Secondly, whether the direction someone gives us works out or not, they are the person who will deal with that outcome. Therefore, giving solutions they never asked for is disempowering and disabling.
Finally, in terms of building relationships and connections with people, control is one of the most damaging therefore, focusing on empowering, listening and guiding is the best formula.
Two way streets are imperative in dialogue. Keep this in mind as you communicate.
‘Hey, what’s your plan?’ – say so many friends right now. Plan for what?! Sure we’ve had two years to think about it so we must have everything mapped out.
Maybe we do and we’re not sharing.
Maybe we do and we’re figuring things out before we share it.
Or maybe we’re still decompressing from a lot of change and are taking it at our own pace.
Whatever the case may be with your own communication, take a breath.
Pass through three filters.
Is it useful?
Is it kind?
It is necessary?
Then, while filtering through these, take a deep breath before speaking.