I have a new role at Nacro, social justice charity.

Being the voice for our service users in Nacro Housing, Justice and Health and Education across England & Wales. I am very excited about the community voice role; it is right up my street 😃👍🏻 — feeling happy.

I am looking forward to meeting everyone and deeply listening to their suggestions, complaints, compliments, concerns and needs.

This post is about active listening.

“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.”— Ralph Nichols

In fact the biggest compliment you can pay to another person is to LISTEN to them

To be PRESENT in the moment and really hear the other person

Not always easy to do as the mind wanders and most people listen with the intent to reply; which means they are formulating their response in their heads and may miss the essence of what is being said or they are listening through their own filters (the unique way they see the world) and making assumptions.
The danger of assumptions, they make an ass of you and me! ass/u/me

“Really effective communication requires dealing with what is being said versus what is added to what is being said by our view of life,” says David Cunningham, a communications expert and program leader for Landmark Education 

“Silence is a source of great strength.”— Lao Tzu

My Landmark training taught me that it is in the moments of silence in conversation, in the pause, that understanding and a true connection is made.

“Many a man would rather you heard his story than granted his request.”— Phillip Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield

So how can we change our way of listening so that we genuinely hear what others are telling? Landmark David Cunningham offers a few tips:

Understand the relationship between language, emotions and our interpretations of events.

 what is being said from your interpretations. This is why in order to truly recover from traumas such as childhood sexual abuse; people must learn to separate what happened to them from feelings of shame, self-criticism and worthlessness.

Know yourself.  The way other people treat you does not determine the quality of your life. Distinguish who you are at the core of your being from your experiences, and live in that “domain of being.”

Discover unrealised potential. Consider that language can be used not just to discuss the world around us, but to create new possibilities and relationships.

To make a change

Listen to this 6 minute clip:

  1. Practice mindfulness: Be aware and attentive to reduce reactivity and stress.
  2. Figure out what you are committed to that has you complain.
  3. Then make an invitation or request – to turn the complaint into new action.
  • Notice you are complaining / gossiping.
  • Notice what the complaint is (what it means to you) – be really clear.
  • See what you are committed to that has you complain in the first place.
  • Share your commitment with a request for new action.


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