Do people really listen to one another any more?

Being an effective listener can be one of the most powerful life skills you can have in life. I have found Empathic Listening an invaluable tool in my coaching practice. Not only do my clients feel heard and validated but they also find that when they apply this skill in their every day life, it can help them enormously. It is a powerful asset in their business dealings as well as in their close relationships. In modern day society, most of us have forgotten the art of how to really tune in and listen to each other. We are caught up in our world of cell phones and blackberries while trying to hold a conversation with one another. Our minds are often preoccupied and the conversation literally goes in one ear and out the other. Wouldn't it be nice to have a conversation with someone where you not only have their undivided attention but also sense that they are really interested in what you are saying?

The reason Empathic Listening is such an incredibly powerful communication skill is that it lets the other person know you are present and interested in what they are saying. According to the dictionary, empathy is a way of "experiencing as one's own of the feelings of another." When using this skill in communicating with another, you are putting aside your own values, needs and judgments and focusing on the essence of what the other person is thinking, feeling and needing .You acknowledge this person's words by looking them in the eye, nodding your head and responding to them in a way that lets them know you are "there" with them. Your focus stays on the speaker until the person is complete in what they are sharing. An example of this would be: If the speaker is telling you about how they just paid off their credit card debt, your empathic response would be something to the effect of, "That must be a huge relief!" or "You must feel so good!" By acknowledging them in this way, the person feels heard. So many times, the speaker will make a statement and the listener will turn the subject matter back to themselves. Here is an example of NOT being an empathic listener: The speaker says, "I just lost 25 pounds. This is the first time in my life I've been able to lose the weight and keep it off." The non-empathic listener would reply by saying, " I remember the first time I lost a lot of weight. I was so happy until the pounds starting creeping back on, etc, etc." This listener has completely ignored the speakers "win" and emphasized that they are more concerned with themselves. Empathic listening can be a wonderful tool to increase the intimacy in a relationship. When the focus stays on the speaker, both people share a more meaningful exchange.

Try the following exercise with a partner. Take turns sharing about a topic that is important to you (i.e. a problem you are having trouble solving, something exciting happening in your life that you want to share, etc.) The person who is doing the "empathic" listening, should really tune in and pay attention to what the speaker is saying. Keep eye contact, make comments like, "I hear you" or "I understand what you are saying." You don't have to try and solve the person's problem, you just need to let them know that they are being heard. Reverse roles and do the same exercise again. Experience the bond you feel with the other person when you listen in this way.

Empathic listening is about the "quality" of your listening to another person. When a person feels like they've really been heard and understood, they feel validated and cared for. By embracing the skill of listening from your heart instead of your head, you will find your relationships gaining a deeper quality and meaning to them.
To book a Mediumship Reading or an Intuitive Coaching session, contact Jana Hollingsworth at Jana is a Life Coach, Medium and Human Design Analyst

Author's Bio: 

Jana Hollingsworth is a gifted Intuitive Coach and Medium. She is also a well known author who has written many articles on metaphysical subjects. She has a weekly column on the astrology site where people write in questions about their lives and she answers them through the guidance and wisdom of her Spirit Guides. She is known as the "Dear Abby" of the spirit world. She is also a sought after internet radio guest and a well known workshop leader in psychic development.

Her personal journey into the psychic realm began as a child. Growing up with a mother who is psychic, she was constantly surrounded by people coming to her house for readings. She thought this was a normal part of life. Her own powers came in the form of predictive dreams, "knowing things," and having an uncanny ability to hook people up with the perfect jobs or connect them with others who could help them in some way. Her friends jokingly referred to her as the "cosmic connector." Her first encounter with a spirit occurred when she was in her 20's. Three days after her dad died of lung cancer, he appeared to her. He came to her in the middle of the night….she woke up to him sitting at the end of her bed with his hand on her ankle. He stopped by to let her know that he was fine and that everything was going to be okay. Since then, the journey has continued and she is now enjoying her work as an Intuitive Coach and Medium where she can connect with her Spirit Guides and loved ones who have crossed-over as well as being able to assist others with their lives.

Jana's unique approach to Intuitive Coaching also draws on her experience as a Human Design Analyst, Holistic Health Practitioner, her training in Spiritual Psychology and her 20+ years of experience working with high-level executives of major corporations.

Being uniquely trained in multiple disciplines that directly affect a person's lifestyle change, Jana is able to combine these skills into a creative and powerful style. She uses these skills to work on the spiritual and emotional levels with her clients to enhance the quality of their lives. She has captivated her clients with her honest and down to earth approach while bringing a fresh perspective to the world of psychic phenomena.