Listening Generously: With Curiosity and Intent to Learn

Listen With Curiosity and Intent to Learn

Listening with curiosity and intent to learn–so fundamental to Listening Generously. To lead with that curiosity and really reach for–find the value, the contribution, the gold in what the other person is saying. It makes such a difference to do that, and yet, you know, it’s not that easy. And many of us stumble–maybe somebody says something; we get triggered, and all of our curiosity disappears. Or we’re really passionate about something, and we got so caught up in our passion that we’re just straight ahead; there’s no listening hardly at all. Or we just start driving a point, driving a point, driving a point, and that need–we’re so caught up in that need to be heard that we’re not listening. Or we begin to interrupt the other person because we got to get our point across, or we got to correct what they’re saying, so we’ve got to interrupt them. We’re not really giving them a chance to say whatever they’re saying so we can see if there’s any gold in there. And you know, some of us do that a fair bit, and all of us do it some.

How Can We Listen With More Curiosity?

So, you know, how do we elevate our curiosity, elevate our Listening Generously? So, I know this gentleman who works at a company that’s been practicing The Collaborative Way® for many, many years–Bob. And Bob is well respected in his company for being someone who can listen generously. So, I asked Bob, “Bob, what’s your secret? How do you keep yourself on track with Listening Generously?” And Bob said, “Well, you know, I monitor my curiosity. So, I keep an eye on my curiosity, and if I notice that my curiosity is waning, that’s my clue it’s time to recenter myself and bring forth a new level of curiosity.” And I think Bob’s really on to something there. The trick to being able to listen generously is to get sensitive to when our curiosity is waning or is just not there. And if I can recognize that moment, if I can start to notice when that curiosity is weakening or absent, this then becomes the opening for me to recenter myself and to choose to listen with real curiosity and with that intent to learn, to find the value in what the other person is saying.

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