One Surprising Secret and Three Tips for Listening Masterfully
by Lyn Allen MCC
MMC guest master coach and blogger
Multi-dimensional listening is the ability to hear simultaneously on multiple levels and to track multiple threads in what you are hearing. You listen consciously rather than unconsciously, and use listening as a form of mindfulness practice.
The most surprising thing about multi-dimensional (masterful) listening? It requires you to listen to yourself.
You need to be both observer and observed. (Remember – mindfulness practice.)
Listening consciously means you notice your own thoughts, beliefs, needs and reactions as they surface during the listening. It also means being aware of (translation: present with) what’s alive and running for you prior to listening.
In other words, what backdrop is in place before you attempt to fully hear another person? What inner noise or static is eating up your bandwidth, keeping you from being fully present in ways required for conscious listening?
When you practice being fully present with and attentive to yourself, you go beyond hearing the words being spoken by someone else. You will likely also hear:
- What their mood and perspective is, what their underlying beliefs and needs are. (Coaches, you might recognize this as listening to “who” the person is, not just what they are saying.)
- Opportunities to deepen discovery, to get to the core of what’s really going on, and to take critical next steps in a path of personal or professional development.
- Equally as essential, you will hear how your internal eco-system influences your listening at any given time, how it shapes your interpretation and how it limits or expands understanding.
How to expand your capacity for listening multi-dimensionally? Here are a few of the foundational elements of conscious, masterful listening from my Essential Coaching Skills program:
- Cultivate your capacity for being fully present, first with yourself in the unfolding now as a basis for how you are present with and listening to others.
- Practice listening to yourself and practice compassion as you notice what’s present within you.
- Practice listening from deep within you rather than simply from your head; allow your entire body to be a receiver of the signals being sent to you by others, especially as you practice listening.
Copyright Lyn Allen MCC 2016 All Rights Reserved
Lyn Allen MCC
Named by CNN’s iReport as one of America’s top coaches, Lyn Allen, MCC, PMC, has been a pioneer in the coaching field for 20 years. One of the early Master Certified Coaches, Lyn has served as a member of the Assessor Team in credentialing for the International Coach Federation, and as a faculty member for several coach training programs.
In private practice as a coach since 1993, Lyn was a member of the original faculty and advisory board of CoachU, and part of CU’s original curriculum development team. Also a graduate of the pioneering Coaching With Love program, she has mentored and trained coaches around the world since 1994.
She co-authored two of the earliest publications in the coaching field: Closing the Gap in Management, and the audio, Coaching From the Heart. Lyn now provides continuing education programs for certified coaches, including her pioneering work in the use of image-based language to enhance client learning. She also offers a free monthly call for coaches-The Heart and Soul of Coaching.