Many people think that communication is only about the way we talk. They assess communication skills based on how well-structured, and argumentative the sentences they use are, without paying any attention to listening. Therefore, when debating with someone, they tend to use rational and proof-based rhetoric but later on, find out that it didn’t help much in convincing their interlocutors. They are knowledgeable and eloquent but they tend to forget that active listening is the foundation of a successful conversation.
The American psychiatrist Karl A. Menninger says “Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.”
There are five levels of listening:
The first one is Ignoring: This is when we squarely refuse to listen.
The second is “Pretend listening”: it is when we are not really interested but, in order not to offend the person, we pretend that we’re paying attention.
The third is “Selective listening”: when we focus our attention on a specific conversation while ignoring other sources of sound. We only focus on what we want to hear.
The fourth is “Attentive listening”: It is when we are genuinely interested, but we’re interpreting our interlocutor’s words based on our own beliefs. We are, therefore, looking at things through completely different perspectives.
The fifth level is “Active or Empathic listening”: This is when we truly pay attention to our interlocutors’ verbal and non-verbal communication. We, therefore, try our best to understand their underlying thoughts and emotions.
“Active Listening” is crucial for the success of the coaching process. Magic happens when the coach is listening, mirroring, and asking powerful questions. That way, they help clients look in depth into the multiple facets of their true nature, win back their confidence and unleash their unlimited potential.