Both Mentors and Mentees can always tune their iistening skills to the next level. That’s because listening has a powerful impact–people feel HEARD and UNDERSTOOD. For example when you listen at Level 1 (Internal Listening) you might hear the CONTENT. You become aware of your own JUDGMENTS OR ASSUMPTIONS about the person speaking.
But at Level 2 (Focused Listening) you are listening for MEANING BENEATH THE CONTENT. You are listening for UNDERLYING ISSUES, NEEDS, FEELINGS, IMPORTANCE. You are picking up INDIVIDUAL EXPRESSION, EMOTIONS, CONFIDENCE OR UNCERTAINTY, what gives the person ENERGY; what makes the person WITHDRAW.
So at Level 2 Listening, you are thinking WITH the person; not FOR the person or ABOUT the person. You’re listening:
—–to what the person is saying
—–to what he or she is not saying
—–for what the person can’t put into words
—–for a clear picture of that person’s view of an issue
—–to get an understanding of the person’s feeling about the problem
With this kind of attention you can also paraphrase what you understand, showing that you WANT to clearly understand. The rewards of such listening in a powerful mentorship team can be a growth in trust; less guarded and more authentic communication; greater possibilities for creative thinking and problem resolving.