Often in conversations we don’t really listen properly to what is being said. As Stephen Covey famously said: “most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply”. One of the main aims of ‘What matters to you?’ day is to help us develop greater intent to simply listen, to listen deeply and to understand. Why don’t we tend to listen well to others? Perhaps we are too busy or have our own opinions or views of the world that we are keen to share? Or any number of other reasons. ‘What matters to you?’ day is an opportunity to stop and think a little more about how we are listening, who we are listening too and what we are doing as a result.
The ‘levels of listening’ (more info here) can be a useful framework to hold in your mind as you listen to someone, whether in a conversation with someone you are supporting or caring for, with a colleague or even with loved ones at home. The levels of listening are aimed at supporting us to think more deeply about how well we listen to one another, and then to listen in new and creative ways that foster meaningful, purposeful relationships between human-beings focused on the things that really matter.
So, when you have your ‘what matters to you?’ conversation, reflect and ask yourself: ‘what level am I listening at?