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Listening – The Ultimate Superpower

February 15, 2023

Have you ever been talking to someone and all you’re really doing is thinking about what you want to say next?

Listening CAN be a superpower. It can change your life. But most people don’t know how to ACTUALLY listen.

There’s level to this listening stuff…

  1. Listening with your ears
  2. Listening with your mind
  3. Listening with your heart

People want to be heard. That’s it.

When you’re on a call with a potential prospect, they just want to be heard. Really heard.

So, how can we learn to really listen and how will that impact our life and business.

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Transcript

Bill
Hey, miles. Hey, Bill. You ever feel like you’re yelling at a deaf dog?

Miles
Yes. I think

Bill
like you’re just talking but nobody’s listening.

Miles
Oh, yeah, definitely.

Bill
You know, it’s interesting because I have a deaf dog. We have this, this new puppy. And she’s deaf. And a dog. It’s really weird. Cuz, you know, you have a dog, right? Don’t you talk to your dog all the time? Yes. Yeah. You’re always talking to the dog. You’re always telling the dog different things. You know, you give the dog commands and things like that. Right? Well, I’m noticing that I do that too. Except she can’t hear me. She can’t hear me.

Miles
So you’re talking to a deaf dog.

Bill
I’m talking to a deaf dog. And when I get when she saw when she pees on the floor, I’m yelling at a deaf dog. You know? analogy. It’s funny, because he got me thinking about listening. And it’s interesting that my deaf dog got me thinking about listening, because what I hear all the time is myself now. Right? I’m talking to a deaf dog. And I’m like, Oh, I’m talking to a deaf dog. Okay. I could shut up. And it’s interesting how much our brains kind of do this thing like they’re talking to a deaf dog? Like, have you ever been talking to somebody? And all you’re really doing is thinking about what you’re going to say next?

Miles
Yeah, I did that. I used to do that a lot more.

Bill
Well, and in that respect, you become like that person you’re talking to? You know, like your a deaf dog for that right there talking to you can’t hear him.

Miles
Yeah.

Bill
I did this, this meditation this morning. It was a Deepak Chopra thing. And he talked about listening in a way I’ve never heard it talked about before. And I talk about listening a lot like when my clients, I think it’s, well, I think it’s the primary part of communication. You can’t communicate if you can’t listen. Right, right. But he talked about listening, that there were three sort of stages of it. One is listening with your ears. Two is listening with your mind. And three, is listening with your heart.

Miles
Damn. Yeah.

Bill
So then I started thinking about it. It’s taken me all day, really, as it just keeps popping into my head. And I’m like, Okay, what does that even mean? Like, what does that mean to me? So for you, what is it? Like? I mean, I think I know what it is for me. But what’s it like when you’re only listening with your ears? Man, I

Miles
love that we should we should go into each one of those three types of listening. And I think the years what is it? I think that curiosity, like how, like being present and having a true curiosity. That’s when I’m listening.

Bill
Right? But what about when you’re only listening with your ears?

Miles
Oh, I see. So my mind and my heart are somewhere else. Yeah. Man.

Bill
Like, I kind of feel like listening with your ears only. is I mean, your ears are always picking up sound, right? There’s always sound coming into your ears. So it’s like, there’s just sounds coming into your ears. That’s it? Yeah. There are even times where I have a talent. Some people might call it a problem. I call it a talent. Where, you know, like, I could be in a restaurant or a bar or somewhere and there’s music playing and maybe music that I don’t like or I don’t want to hear and I can kind of just shut it off. You know, I don’t I no longer am, quote.

Miles
Listening to it. Selective Hearing. Almost. Yeah. But it’s still coming in my ears. Yeah.

Bill
And that’s kind of what I think of when we’re only talking about listening with your ears is there’s just sound coming in there

Miles
is going in one ear out the other. Yeah, yeah. It’s not sticking Which from the from the other perspective is not a good feeling? Like, right? How does it feel when you’re talking to someone and you can kind of tell that they’re not listening with their mind or their heart? Right? You can feel it. It’s so obvious. Yeah. turns me off to the conversation.

Bill
And then, you know, then we have listening with your mind. And I think we were just talking about that. Like, you’re thinking about what to say next? Or thinking about whatever. Right?

Miles
Right. It can be helpful to an extent, or just like, maybe meditation, like the mind is still present. If you’re doing it right. I think it’s still there. It’s just not. It’s just being intentional. Being conscious about that being present.

Bill
Yes. See, I think when you’re listening with your mind, you’re still not present. Because if you’re thinking about what you’re going to say, next, you’re not present. You’re in your mind, in your head.

Miles
Right, you’re not taking it in fully. Then responding, you’re taking in pieces of it, and prep, preparing for what you’re going to say that’s that’s a good point, which more like good form of communication? Like depending on it, I think that’s it. I guess what I’m getting at here is I don’t think that every conversation should be fully 100% heart only. The I’m gonna play devil’s advocate there, because I think that’s where we’re headed. Do you agree with that?

Bill
Yeah, I’m not even saying I that, that there’s not a place for all three kinds of listening. I’m just trying to distinguish what they are, you know. Sometimes somebody will start talking, you think of something you want to say? And then you don’t hear the rest of what they had to say. And oftentimes, then whatever you said, either doesn’t make sense. or is no longer germane to the conversation? Because you didn’t hear it?

Miles
Yeah. Okay, so what’s this third, this third level look like

Bill
listening with your heart. I know it sounds a little woowoo. But, but I think that just means being fully present. So whether you’re in a conversation one on one, whether it’s, you and I are doing what we’re doing right now, or with a guest, whether you’re on the phone with someone, it’s just listening, fully listening, and being really present. Like, you and I’ve talked about this before, when I notice that I’m not doing that, or that I’m starting to not do that. I’m starting to think instead of listen, I try to drop into my body. Nice, and just anchor myself in my body. Or I’ll even use a phrase. Like, I know, it’s gonna sound crazy. But I might actually use a phrase like, I love you. I love you. And say it silently over and over again.

Miles
To yourself, like to myself yourself.

Bill
No, I just say I love you. I’m not pointing it at anybody. You know what I mean? But it’s an anchor, it gives my brain something to do with it. You know, monkey busy need to do something, and allows me to, to be present in the conversation.

Miles
It’s like when a parent gives a kid a screen to look at so that they can do whatever they’re doing. Yeah. Something to play with. Yeah. Giving your mind something to put its attention on. Just keep it still essentially. Yes. Um, I like that. Yeah. I think I definitely am. I’m more so in the mind level, as you can probably imagine, and I’d really like to work on getting down to the heart. I think what resonates with me about that is feeling emotions. You don’t have to obviously but I when I’m having a conversation, and I get like, excited are emotional, or, I mean, I’m an emotional person. So like, I’ve been talking to someone and like my eyes will start watering, not out of like, just anything, any sort of emotion can cause that. I think that was fully present. Heart. Heart led listening. Yeah.

Bill
Yeah, I would agree. Yeah, maybe that’s another way to identify is, you know, when they’re When there are no emotions, or you’re not aware of any, you might be in your head. Yeah. Sometimes we go into head or thinking with the mind, I think because we have uncomfortable emotions. Right? And so you might be thinking, How do I get out of this? How do I end this conversation? What can I say to make this stop, instead of just being really present with exactly what’s happening?

Miles
So what are some things that we can do to kind of like work on that? I mean, you know, is there some exercises or?

Bill
Wow, I mean, maybe the most important thing is trying to be aware of whether you’re actually listening and how you’re listening.

Miles
Yeah, it’s step one, huh? Yeah.

Bill
Once you realize that, maybe you’re not present. When you’re listening, getting presents, not hard. Take a breath. You know, just breathe. And all of a sudden, you’re back. You’re here. You might have to do that over and over again. But you’re here in that moment,

Miles
I think when I find myself drifting, my attention drifting in a conversation. I will rely, I will go back to like, checking in on my curiosity. Hmm. So am I actually curious about this? am I faking curiosity? Because I can kind of help me understand the situation. And then, because when I’m truly curious, then I am fully present. Yeah. And then the other one is questions. So I saw this thing the other day, there was kind of a one of those challenges of like, can you go a full week, where 90% of what you say is questions, which I realize is really intense.

Bill
Yeah, that sounds really hard. That’s a cool but hard.

Miles
Talk about giving yourself like a new understanding of listening. You have to bite your tongue, you have to kind of keep from jumping in and, and saying what you think, is adding to the conversation, which is often a very ego driven thing. Like I wanted to hear it, I want to be seen as a certain way, by the things I’m saying in this conversation.

Bill
You know, it’s interesting, you said, I want to be heard, I think everybody wants to be heard. And so many people don’t feel heard. And we have this extra weird sort of new way of life going on. I’ve read, I’ve seen a lot of articles popping up lately about loneliness, about people feeling lonely and disconnected and not having the kinds of close relationships that they used to have. And we could go on and on about the reasons for that. I don’t know that it matters for this conversation. But it’s really nice to be heard. To feel like you’ve been heard, like, How many times have you been in a business interaction? Whether it’s with your insurance carrier on the phone, or trying to purchase something from someone on the phone or? Or, or the doctor or the doctor’s office? And really not feel heard? sucks? Yeah, it totally sucks. And so

Miles
you’re onto something there. That’s like kind of what it all comes down to? I think,

Bill
have you ever I mean, you do. For lack of a better term, you do sales calls with people? Yeah, right. Yeah. So you have a prospective client. And you talk about stuff, man. And I think a lot of people have the point of those calls backwards. Yeah. They want to talk, they want to show that person how much they know. They want to show that person that they can help them or fix them or give them what they want. When, if you flip that over and put your attention on just listening to that person. I have found that that makes my results go through the roof.

Miles
Yeah, that’s probably the biggest thing for anyone who does any sort of selling should practice because it’ll kind of take care of the rest. So I used to talk a lot I used to try to put on you know, because you do want to, especially when you’re nervous and you’re new into selling, you want to come off a certain way and prove because you need the job. You need the client But really, you should be. You should be like, I tried to tell myself, it’s not a client. Like it’s not a good fit at first, and then I try to prove it otherwise, and I will actively. I’ll even throw things in there that, you know, I don’t know if it’s a good fit. Actually, I’m not sure about this one thing. Because if I can get through all that, and it’s still a great fit at the end, I know that it’s going to be a much better relationship, and they are confident that I actually give a shit because I’m listening, I understand all the nuances that they’re thinking about that they’re worried about. So yeah, it really does all come back to listening.

Bill
When we’re in a sales call, you always want the sale. And when you Yeah, and when you put your attention on that, or you’re worried about that, or you’re trying not to mess it up, you tend to talk and get in your head and think about talking. Right? And the trick is to flip it over, and listen. And if you can really be aware of how you’re listening. And in this context, listen with your heart, be really present, be really open, then you know exactly what to say. When it’s time to say something.

Miles
I think I have a good example You just reminded me, like I’m a big note taker. But I actually think it can be detrimental to the conversation. Because you’re focused on the notes and you’re always a an idea behind you’re not fully listening. I can imagine you’re probably not a big note taker.

Bill
No. I don’t do that. I might take notes after a conversation when we hang up. But not during

Miles
that’s a great skill is just being present and not having to like have the control of the every single thing that’s said. Yeah.

Bill
Well, I guess I’m gonna go see if I can listen to something with my heart.

Miles
Yeah, I’m gonna just go ask a bunch of questions and see what see what happens. Awesome.

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