“After all we go through. we are asked to lead a life of honest expression, which starts with listening as a way to remember what matters, to name what matters, and to voice what matters. These are the practices that keep us authentic.” ~ Mark Nepo, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen.
In our warped speed world, mindfulness is quickly becoming a leadership practice of great value…slowing down and focusing on what matters most. The practice can be extended to our communication and we call this mindful communication. The essence of communicating mindfully is about cultivating understanding and love. It’s a practice devoted to pausing; noticing breathing; identifying and expressing feelings, needs, and expectations with care and respect; and listening for the same in others, asking open questions, and deeply listening with all our senses.
We change hats between being the speaker and listener many hundreds of times during a day. Here are some tips that can keep you in the present moment and bring your communication to a new level:
- Be fully present
- Speak from the mid-chest and not the mouth. Speak from your heart, with passion and simplicity.
- Talk about what really matters. Tell it like it is, with respect.
Sharing your feelings, expectations and needs builds trust, understanding and a mutual relationship that bridges distance between people.
- Be fully present
- Listen heart fully, from the your mid-chest rather than just your ears.
- Deeply understand before evaluating. Don’t be quick to jump to an assumption or conclusion.
- Respond appropriately. Not only with your words, but with your entire body, being mindful of what you say, how you say it, and what you show in your facial expressions and body movements.
Adopting a mindful approach to communication has many benefits including shared understanding, strengthened relationships, deepened trust, and a keen awareness.
LISTENING PAYS POINT: Take your communication to a new level by being mindful as you speak and listen.