Welcome to the third episode of our Happier at Work video series! As part of National Stress Awareness Month, we will spend the next few weeks covering the idea of mindfulness, empathy, emotional intelligence, meditation and happiness in the workplace.
We will provide in-video exercises and things you can practically apply to impact work happiness. We will also provide a TL;DL (too long didn’t listen) so you can skip to critical parts of the videos if that’s more your scene. We encourage you to add your own personal techniques, ask questions and contribute to the conversation.
TL;DL: Here are the critical points in the video:
- What is mindful listening? 0:25
- Why is it important? 1:55
- What is listening, not selling? 2:55
- How can I use mindful listening for creative conversations?
Would you describe yourself as a good listener? We would be willing to bet that you do. And of course you do, it’s such a human skill to feel good at; “Of course I’m a great listener! I sit there quietly while someone else says stuff. I wait for my moment to say something brilliant, interject with my opinion or some advice.”
Does this sound familiar? Again, we bet it does.
Now first things first, forgive yourself. It is so natural to behave that way. We crave connection through sharing our experiences and joining in the conversation. But think about how much time your brain spends formulating what you are going to say, constructing an opinion, or realizing how it makes you feel?
As we chatted about in the last Happier at Work post, our brains are actually incapable of doing two things at once. That means that when you’re sitting there being a ‘good listener’, you are actually spending more time in your head and missing details, subtext and potentially really good information.
How much do you think you are missing? Can you think of a conversation this week where you can admit you were not listening?
This is the perfect application for mindfulness. It is something you can test everyday, in every interaction. It is a practice that requires a lot of forgiveness of yourself, so just keep at it. Try to remember it before every conversation, and maybe even share with the person what you are working on.
Check out the video or key sections to find out easy things you can try to practice your mindful listening.
Additionally, here’s a few great resources if you want to level-up your listening skills:
- What Great Listeners Actually Do
- LinkedIn Learning: Effective Listening (if you don’t have access to this, you can often login using your library card)
What has this meant for Room 214?
This is an essential skill for us as marketers, but it’s not something any of us are taught beyond the basics.
If we are listening to our clients, we hear the true needs and opportunities to serve our clients. We understand their real problems, the alignment on making a good product, and can be sensitive to things they are telling us by not even saying them. (How many times have you been on a conference call and you could tell something was tense, exciting or distracting on the other end?). Those are the moments when we can discern real meaning.
When we are listening to each other as a team, we can be better aligned on what we need to do, and how we are going to do it. We do not waste as much time in meetings (hallelujah!), and work towards a common purpose.
Okay this all sounds great and idealistic, but we want to reiterate that it’s something we have identified as an area of improvement and are still working on. Our upcoming Presence and Listening training should help kick off our journeys of applied mindfulness. But after that, the real work begins. Each of us will have to continue to practice this skill every day.