Listening is essential to running a successful business and creating a phenomenal team.
Employees are inevitably going to have upsets. The real opportunity is to create an environment where they can share their upsets and create new significant breakthroughs and insights.
To create a coaching culture in your business, the first step is to coach your employees to listen from the space of being completely present with the listener. In other words, so they are simply listening rather than taking sides (defending against the other person’s story or buying into it).
Here’s a simple format for integrating a listening culture in your business
(Hint: this process also works great for personal interactions!)
1. The facilitator asks, “Person A, are you willing to have a breakthrough with Person B? And Person B, are you willing to have a breakthrough with Person A?”
If they say, “No, I’m not,” the facilitator can say something to the effect of, “I get that you’re not willing. However, are you willing to be willing?” Continue to ask this question until they can shift their mindset and state that they are willing to create a breakthrough.
2. The facilitator then designates a listener, “Person B, you are going to be the listener. As the listener, you must remain quiet, even though you may get upset and react. You don’t have to agree with everything that Person A says, but don’t start sharing your side of the story until it’s your turn.”
Person A then shares their complaints.
3. Throughout the sharing, the facilitator creates a safe space for being present. The facilitator doesn’t ask the speaker to clarify or explain things and doesn’t take sides.
4. The opportunity is to listen from the place of not having any position at all. You simply give the story the place to be and stay present from the place of, “I’m creating the listening of being present.”
If someone starts talking out of turn, simply pause and remind them, “The agreement is to just listen.”
5. After Person A shares, the facilitator thanks them and then ask Person B to share.
The facilitator generates being present so that both people start to really hear the other person and have a sense of connectedness and relatedness.
Each person takes turns sharing until all of their frustration disappears.
6. After two to three rounds of this process, the issues begin to dissipate, the tension relaxes and a space opens for breakthroughs. It’s from this place then that new requests can be made.
How to Create A Breakthrough – Your Business Practice For The Week
Try the exercise above at home with your spouse or a close family member and then implement it in your workplace.
Simply explain the ground rules of not interrupting and taking turns sharing to the other person. It is a simple exercise that can create powerful breakthroughs.
“Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.” – author unknown
What situations have you encountered in your business (or personal life) where you were able to be present and “really listen” and as a result you were able to create a breakthrough?