If you want to listen to me you will need to ‘hold your tongue’. Can you do that?

Not only will you need to ‘hold your tongue’ but you will need to hold your energy down, let go of your agenda and be ready to hear what I have to say. Can you do that?

This means you will need to be open to hear what I say if you disagree.

If you disagree with me, are you willing to contain yourself while I finish what I have to say fully, because if you can’t you are not prepared to listen to me.

If you cut me off and are focussed on your argument, when you haven’t heard all of what I have to say on the topic this is not listening but telling me what you think or want.

If you are holding your breath waiting for me to finish, I will know that your focus is on holding your breath and not hearing me and that is not listening either.

These reflections and questions provide a full picture of what it is to truly listen.

Listening is an underrated skill that is less about remembering the words and more about calming your inner voices to be present with the other person.

When someone is truly listened to, it is then that they feel heard, understood, respected and valued.

You may be scared of what the other person has to say and although it may be hard to hear, if they don’t tell you then they will need to keep it to themselves and this can make them anxious.

Listening is a skill of life and when you listen to someone, truly listening to them and quietening your inner self then you help them learn to listen to themselves too.