Getting better at listening
“When a person realises he has been deeply heard, his eyes moisten. I think in some real sense he is weeping for joy. It is as though he were saying, ‘Thank God, somebody heard me. Someone knows what it’s like to be me.’” Carl Rogers
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Have you ever found a good friend vaguely irritating when you are struggling with a stressful situation? Perhaps they play devil’s advocate for you, or jump in with solutions? Perhaps they think empathising is to tell you all about how they struggled in a similar situation or perhaps it is providing you with their own frame of reference (which may well not be yours) like “everything happens for a reason”?
Being a good listener can be very hard for humans. We are hard wired to want to categorise, to solve, to judge, to relate to our own experience. When presented with a problem we just want to help.
But what if good listening is simply that, listening?
What if it is simply putting your phone and other distractions away, allowing the other person to unburden themselves and then showing you have understood? What if it is asking questions, summarising what you have heard? When you are sure everything has been said, asking “is that everything?” and then together seeking appropriate next actions for that person through asking more questions or making cautious suggestions?
Sometimes the greatest gift we can give is to #MakeTime
Heather Beach is Founder and Managing Director of The Healthy Work Company. Heather will be speaking at the virtual Workplace Wellbeing Conference, from 1-3 June 2021. Catch her interactive workshop, ‘Wellbeing conversations for managers’, at 12:00 on Wednesday 2 June. Tickets to the conference are £120 + VAT, with 20% of the ticket price donated to conference charity partner, Mind.
Other speakers include former No. 10 director of communications and strategy Alastair Campbell; astronaut Major Tim Peake; Mind CEO Paul Farmer; Olympic gold medallist Amy Williams; award-winning campaigner Tom Dunning; HSE Principal Human Factors Specialist Phoebe Smith; and many more.
Click here to see the full Workplace Wellbeing Conference agenda.
Click here for more information and to purchase your ticket.
The Workplace Wellbeing Conference is part of Safety & Health Expo and Workplace Wellbeing Show Connect 2021, your first major opportunity to come together with the rest of the occupational health, safety & wellbeing community online from 1-30 June. The month-long, online event will make it easy for you to find health and safety products & services, connect with suppliers and access thought-leadership content from your own home or workplace. Connect 2021 is free to attend.
Workplace Wellbeing Conference – Connect 2021
Taking place over three days from 1-3 June 2021, the Workplace Wellbeing Conference is part of Connect 2021, which runs online from 1-30 June.
Hear from 40 expert speakers, whose mix of achievements, experience and inspirational stories will help you deliver effective wellbeing initiatives in your business; support your colleagues; and support yourself. Expect a healthy debate in a truly interactive, online experience.
Alastair Campbell, Mental Health Campaigner and former Government Press Secretary and Director of Communications and Strategy; Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind; Major Tim Peake, CMG; Amy Williams, former Team GB skeleton racer and Olympic gold medallist; Tom Dunning, Mechanical Engineer, British Sugar and TED speaker; Phoebe Smith, Principal Human Factors Specialist, HSE; Nick Wright, Group Health, Safety & Wellbeing Manager, Vodafone; Karen McDonnell, Policy Advisor, RoSPA; Karl Simons OBE, Health, Safety & Wellbeing Leader; Heather Beach, Founder, Healthy Work Company; Faye McGuiness, Director of Programmes, Education Support; Wendy Rose, Head of Strategic Relationships, Bupa; Tim Eldridge, Vice President, IOSH and Global Head of Health and Safety, HSBC; and more.
Tickets: £120 + VAT, with 20% donated to conference charity partner, Mind.