The art of listening

Following on from yesterday’s post around the idea of how we approach listening today I want to take a look at how we listen. I’ve led plenty of training sessions with the focus on the skills needed to listen effectively and to challenge us through our own limitations we each have.

However when I am thinking about how we listen i want to consider the following 5 aspects that are so perfectly shown in the Chinese character for listen shown above.

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Your story is everything

Today I restart my work as a counsellor in schools. It’s the end of the holiday period and normality (or at least routine), whatever that is for each of the young people I work with, returns. I found myself turning the radio off going in and driving in silence, preparing myself for the day ahead, wondering what Christmas had been for each young person.

I am starting with many new clients this term and this also leads me to reflect on what I bring to the room to someone new. Always the question is where do you start? For me it starts with one thing…

It’s all about their story.

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i hate new years resolutions

So I really hate new year. Not because I hate the possibilities of what a new year can bring but it has always seemed strange to me the pressure that people put on themselves to change on January 1st. The idea that this is the date and time in which all things change and our bodies become fitter, we stop smoking/drinking has always seemed strange to me. (perhaps it is simply a response to the excess of Christmas).

This has really bugged me this year, but as I started the blog yesterday it struck me why.

 

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It’s always about the first step

Like Indiana Jones in the Last Crusade I am restarting my blog again today. Full of fear, anxiety and concern and even after making the decision to do it I have come up with 100’s of excuses why it couldn’t be started. In my mind all legitimate.

18 months ago i completed my counselling training and during the years of training that i was going through I had to write every week. These reflective journals, although were at times hard work, I still had to do it. It became habit and as i did them more and more I actually loved the discipline of writing, reflecting on my counselling practice and the learning I was doing. Since then I haven’t had to and so I stopped, thankful for the break. However there has felt like a gap in my processing of what I did and who I was learning and growing. Of course in the last 18 months of counselling I have delivered close to 1500 hours of counselling and in that time I haven’t stopped learning at all. You can’t. Every client is different and challenges you to think differently in your approach and methodology of how I apply the skills I have. What I haven’t had is a space to process that, explore what I have learnt, shared new approaches or ask questions of myself.

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