Whole Body Listening is a reliable way to fully connect with, and receive communication from another person. The process first offers steps that make you available to listen and then provides tips for accurately receiving the message. This form of listening is unique as it uses a whole body approach, offering many benefits to both the speaker and the listener.
Prepare to Listen
- Check-in with yourself. Are you willing and available to listen? How do you know?
- Does your physical posture create an opening for connection?
- Is your breathing signaling safety to your body?
- Turn fully toward the speaker.
- Open your body posture, while breathing easily.
- Acknowledge the communication.
- Clarify and confirm what you have heard.
- Demonstrate engaged attention through open posture, turning fully towards the person you’re listening to, and breathing easily and regularly.
- Add curiosity and appreciation.
- Circulate your attention: Listen to another, then bring your attention back to you and then back to them
- Demonstrate that you are hearing the message being sent. Some examples of that would be nodding, verbal gestures, etc. Your nonverbal communication is also powerful.
- Show that you are understanding by confirming and clarifying. Check with the person to confirm you heard them accurately.
- Remember the person is communicating both content (the words being said), and also context (the environment within which the content exists). Both content and context are valuable.
- Offer your sense of the feelings this person might be expressing. For example “It sounds like you feel sad. Is that accurate?”
- If you sense the person is ready and willing, begin to ask what they really want.