“Most people don’t listen with the intent to understand; most listen with the intent to reply.”
– Stephen Covey
Think about it. You have the perfect opportunity to really connect with someone, to deepen a relationship or strengthen a work collaboration, and instead, you’re so concerned about what YOU have to say that you almost completely miss what the other person is telling you, much less what they really mean or need. And how many times have you come away from a conversation feeling like they didn’t hear a word you said but were just waiting for your lips to quit moving so they could say their piece?
Not very satisfying, is it? And sadly, not at all uncommon. In fact, some research says that we spend around 55% of our day listening, but only actually absorb between 17% and 25% of what is said to us. Surely, we can do better than that.
We can! And here’s how: Mirroring.
Exactly as it sounds, mirroring is simply reflecting to the speaker what they have said. Simple, but not always easy.
We say it’s simple but not always easy because we are taught most of our lives that the individual is supreme, and that talking is for the purpose of getting what I want, getting MY needs met, getting MY point across, etc. Seeing a pattern here? It’s all about ME.
Safe Conversations aims to turn that paradigm around and shift the focus of talking, of conversation, to discovering what YOU need, what YOU think and feel, and what YOU want to share. The shift from ME to WE begins with a commitment to the relationship, whether personal or professional and the recognition that listening is a skill we need to nurture. That skill begins with mirroring.
So next time you’re about to begin a conversation, no matter the situation, take a deep breath; commit to the mindset of WE versus ME; mirror them back and show them that you care enough to really get what they say. You’ll still get the chance to say your piece. But this time, you’ll be relating to, not talking at, your partner.
We guarantee you’ll be amazed at the results!