How To Listen With Your Heart

I love talking and my husband would agree!

Jokes aside, I really do love talking but only because it opens up opportunities for listening. And through listening, we experience connection and many wonderful feelings as a result.

How often do you connect with people?

I’m not talking about the surface conversation but the deep and meaningful conversation that evokes emotion.

When was the last time that you felt empathy?

When did you last feel sad, happy, joyous with another person?

Can you bring to mind the last time that you felt a deep connection with another human being?

I’m reminded of an experience a couple of years ago whilst out walking my dog along a cliff path on a crisp autumnal morning. I was in a rush as had a day full of coaching clients ahead so walked briskly.

As I approached a corner, I saw an elderly gentleman in a long dark coat and hat heading my way.

He walked slowly with a walking stick as his faithful small and old dog trundled along by his side.

As they approached, I noticed how relaxed he seemed and so unhurried.

Often, I would just say a quick “hello’ to strangers whilst passing by but being suddenly aware of my obvious ‘super speed’, I decided to slow down and stop.

The conversation started with “It’s a beautiful day isn’t it?” and then led on to a discussion about our dogs.

Then, we started talking about where we both lived and about our families.

I felt emotions stir as he began to talk about his wife.

He told me that she was in a care home and that once a week he visited her.

He then took a deep breath, looked directly into my eyes with his own bright blue eyes that sat amongst the wrinkles of time and I saw him. I truly ‘saw him’ as he spoke the words “Yes, once a week I go and sit and hold her hand. And once in a blue moon, I know she knows that it’s me”.

At that moment it was as if time stood still.

I felt both his joy and his sorrow. Experiencing such a deep and profound connection it felt as if nothing else existed at that moment.

Some may say that souls unite in moments like these, others may describe these moments as ‘heartfelt’.

When we deeply immerse ourselves in the experience of another (even just for a few seconds) we not only hear but we ‘feel’ their world.

They know we feel them, and we know we do too.

It’s profoundly powerful.

When we truly listen, not just with our ears but with our heart we communicate, “I see you, I hear you and I understand you”.

Living a busy life we often forget to hear with our heart.

We may neglect to really ‘see, hear’ and ‘understand’.

We ‘surface layer’ listen amongst distractions, work and chores.

We don’t see people because we don’t stop long enough to look into their eyes and into their soul.

We hear them but we don’t feel what they feel.

And we all miss out.

If you want don’t want to miss out and want to practice listening with your heart, then follow my 7 tips below to do just that:

  • To truly HEAR then add a ‘T’ (HEAR-T) in the form of ‘time’. Give people your time to allow create the opportunity to listen with your heart. Stop rushing and start recognising that you can create time.
  • Make eye contact. Compare eye contact with an internet connection. If you allow yourself to be distracted and look away, you lose connection. You lose access to valuable information that could create profoundly powerful moments.
  • Don’t talk from behind tables. Ensure that as much of your body language is visible as possible. We exchange vast amounts of information with our bodies. If we hide our body, then we miss out on deep communication. (Note to managers, headteachers and leaders: if you want your staff to feel truly ‘heard’ then avoid conversations where you are sat behind a desk).
  • Look for opportunities to listen with your heart. Look for people who may benefit from a conversation with you. I’d highly recommend approaching an elderly care home to ask if they need volunteers. The residents need your ‘heart-listening’ more than you will ever know.
  • Be fully present with whoever you are with be it a friend, family member or stranger. Avoid checking your phone or responding to texts. Turn your phone to silent so you can guarantee un-interrupted conversation. Answering your phone will not only interrupt conversation and communication but conveys the message to the other person that they are not a priority. They are likely to feel saddened by this and less likely to want to converse further.
  • Don’t look for a suitable age to converse with but look for a suitable spirit. Some of my most powerful conversations have been amongst children and the elderly. Listening to a child you will learn. Listening to the elderly will teach you very quickly to listen with your heart (because they do it all of the time).
  • Seek environments that have no wi-fi or arrange a day out with friends and ban mobile phones. You may experience initial resistance, but they will thank you for it at the end of the experience. Without technology people have to be ‘real people’ having ‘real conversations’. More talking equals more listening which allows for more ‘heart-listening’ opportunities.

Implementing the above tips could have a very positive impact on your life and the life of others.

I challenge you to a 7 Day Heart – Listening Challenge. For 1 week seek as many opportunities to practice heart-listening.

I would really love to hear about your learnings and experiences!

Related Posts:

Related Blogs

3 months ago

5 Ways To Communicate With Your Teenager

5 Ways To Communicate With Your Teenager

Read more

5 months ago

How To Stay Married By Overcoming The 7 Most Common Problems Within Marriages

How To Stay Married By Overcoming The 7 Most Common Problems Within Marriages

Read more

6 months ago

Laugh More & Strengthen Your Relationship

Laugh More & Strengthen Your Relationship

Read more

6 months ago

Is Your Relationship Healthy?

Is Your Relationship Healthy?

Read more

7 months ago

A Secret Tip To Transform Your Relationship!

A Secret Tip To Transform Your Relationship!

Read more

7 months ago

Love, Limit or Leave?

Love, Limit or Leave?

Read more