Before you listening ... try this!

free resources listening therapy Oct 05, 2023

A few weeks ago I asked a group of perinatal professionals what the core, component parts to good listening are, how do we ensure that people feel heard essentially?

We discussed the importance of reflective listening, compassion and attention.

We all agreed that these are all important aspects.

One person mentioned being present.

It occurred to me then that nothing very good can come of any therapeutic listening session unless we are able to be present with those sharing their stories.

But what does it mean to be fully present?

And how can this help the person we are listening to feel truly heard?

Being present means first having a conscious awareness of our own  state.

And asking ourselves; are we stressed, are we tense, are we focused on our mind's rumination about the future or the past?

It's really challenging to feel present when we are internally, mentally battling with worry, fear or anxiety of our own.

Curiously, being in service to another by listening to them really well often breaks this internal mental rumination.

But being present brings a human connection to the listening process and allows us to really understand the other person.

Being present allows us to be in body (the literal meaning of embody) and therefore both our body and our mind are congruent, at ease and present.

Here are some ways of becoming present before a listening session (especially useful if you are stressed, busy, under pressure, or worried).

  • Shake it off. Stand up and shake. Shake your head, shake your shoulders, shake your arms, your body, your legs and your feet. For maximum effect blast Taylor Swift Shake It Off very loudly into your ears. 
  • Listen to this moving meditation Download now 
  • Ground yourself back in the here and now using the 5,4,3,2,1 technique. Download now 
  • List 10 things in your head or on paper that you are grateful for right now. 

Being present is not just essential for good listening but also for peaceful living.

If you want to improve your listening skills, learn a framework for safe listening that promotes healing after trauma and allows people to feel heard and validated then there are two ways to learn with TBR College.