How To Be a Powerful Contribution: Listen

Here’s a message I sent to member of my mastermind this morning:

“thank you for being such a powerful contribution to my day each day.

the first time we started working together you showed up with great commitment on each call, but you also added wonder woman fixit coaching. That doesn’t happen now.

Now you show up with clear listening and total self awareness, and you make me feel heard and known, which moves me deeply.

profound thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Are there people in your life like that? I hope you do. Though I know it’s not very common.

What’s more common is people who offer advice. It often comes with a feeling of you have somehow implicitly agreed to carry out the advice being given. And not carrying it out breaks an unspoken pact where friendships are at stake.

From the perspective of the person giving the advice, the truth is, it’s hard to give feedback to someone without sounding self-important, self-righteous, or even apologetic for knowing so much.

How can you be a real contribution to someone without just unleashing your own personal advice and leaving them feel like they’ve just been parented.

In my daily mastermind, we have a laser short conference call with 3 people, with specific ground rules for what is asked of one another, what is shared, and how we reflect back what’s been said. Each person takes a turn asking another what specifically is working, or not working, and what’s next. They then relay back precisely what was shared. It’s a very specific listening practice, to listen to precisely what is being said, and say it back. There’s nothing extra about it. Well, we aren’t robots. It’s cool to include what you like about what’s been shared, if it genuinely moves you. But we don’t give advice. We just listen, and demonstrate to one another that we hear each other.

Speaking to someone who is committed to practice listening is like driving a luxury car after trading in your Datsun. It feels so good. The design is so right. It creates powerful peace of mind.

How do you want to leave others feeling when you have a conversation? Want some advice? Try “peace of mind.” Try listening carefully, so they feel known and heard.