Does Your Listening Help or Hinder?

Which environment would you thrive in? One where criticism is frequent and judgment is found around every corner? Or, would you perform better in a culture of connection and affirmation?

When we listen to others, we are creating a conversational environment. When we listen for connection, we are smarter, more engaged and, indeed, feel more connected. Connection guides us to make better decisions as well as think more innovatively and collectively.

When we listen to judge, confirm or reject, we create disconnection and we become less insightful. When we listen to judge, confirm or reject, we are listening from an I-centric mode, which can encourage skepticism, more judgment and criticism. Essentially, we shut people and our conversations down.

The concept of Listening to Connect is a Conversational Intelligence® (C-IQ) Essentials created by Organizational Anthropologist, Judith E. Glaser. Listening to Connect is bigger than listening to understand or listening to find a place to add one’s two cents. Both of these dynamics are more about the listener and less about having a highly intelligent or mutually productive conversation.

In Judith’s words: “When we listen to connect, we create a platform for peering into each other’s minds and become the catalyst of our next generation thinking, enabling us to set more helpful, meaningful, and productive objectives for the future. When we adopt the framework of listening to connect, we improve our ability to connect, navigate and grow with others.”

Listening to Connect evolves human beings. It molds us into better friends, coworkers, parents, partners, employers, leaders and people.

Try it for yourself. You’ll experience transformation inside your own neurochemistry as well as elevate your ability to communicate, collaborate and trust other people. Here are a few hints on how I apply this C-IQ Essential:

  • Look into the eyes of the other person while listening, versus looking at something else or in another direction.
  • Listen full of observation and free of questions.
  • Listen with wonder and presence.

If Judith were sitting by your side as you practice Listening to Connect, my bet is she would offer you these hints:

  • Be curious about what the other person is trying to say.
  • Wonder what they are thinking.
  • Consider what they are hoping you’ll help them explore.