How can one use listening to bring out the best in others?

So you learn to honor everybody you meet as your teacher when you realize that there is nothing else you can do but be conscious, for the good of yourself and for all your fellow men and women, and to bring you closer to the place you’re trying most to get to by all the other means you thought you were working on.

Ram Dass

Have the right frame of mind

The best frame of mind for allowing others to blossom is alert stillness. This state is best thought of as poised. It is relaxed, yet active. The mind is open and spacious, with little or no self talk. The practice for developing this state is any of the mindfulness practices.

Be humble

You don’t have have all the answers. If fact your ideas about what you think the other person should do will prejudice you so that you don’t really hear what they say.

As Ram Dass says approach them as a teacher. You will learn more about this person than you have before, because you are open to what they are really saying.

Be authentic

When you are authentic, there is no need to think about what you are going to say. You trust yourself to have the right words when the time comes. If you are genuine and you care about the person, supportive words will come to you.

Authenticity comes from self-awareness, being aware of your agendas, patterns and concern what others think. Over time you learn to surrender these concerns, open your heart and become vulnerable. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable is among the bravest things you can do. It pays you back in closer relationships and a richer life.

Be authentic. Surrender your agendas.

Creating the space

If you have mastered the above qualities, it will be easy to create a safe, open space in which the other can share their inner-most feelings.

©2016 Stephen L. Martin

Painting: Listening to the Birds by Winslow Homer

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