What I've been experiencing of late feels like a bit of a miracle
I was thinking, as I sat down to write, that what I’ve been experiencing of late feels like a bit of a miracle. So I decided to look up the dictionary definition to find out if there was anything to my thinking that I could claim as accurate.
Apart from the attribution to divine agency, which I’m not actually disputing, but also can’t truthfully be sure of, I am left feeling vindicated…it has, indeed, been miraculous!
I think what has been happening is explicable by both nature and science, and it is definitely remarkable, with very welcome consequences. And there is no doubt in my mind, either, about the exceptional nature of the design.
What am I on about? Simply...listening. As readers of this newsletter know (and thank you, by the way, for being readers, I appreciate that so much!), listening is my playing field. And it has been for a long time now. For 18 years before I read Nancy Kline’s first book, Time To Think, I had mastered the art of many kinds of listening, and most notably listening for…
Listening for a person’s commitment
Listening for what was missing
Listening for blind spots
Listening for patterns
Listening for limiting interpretations
And then it would be my job to point out what I had heard, and hopefully, in the process, deliver value to the person(s) to whom I had been listening.
In 2004, I was in the process of a two-year Masters in Coaching when I was first introduced to Nancy Kline’s book Time To Think. I read it, quit the programme, and went in search of the one person who could teach me Nancy Kline’s Thinking Partnership process.
15 years later I am still exploring, every day, the miracle of Generative Attention.
The big shift is to listen for thinking without labelling it in any way whatsoever. Without judging it, interpreting it, evaluating it, analysing it, needing to poke holes in it, improve it, develop it further or change it in any way.
The big shift is to trust the intelligence of the thinker.
The big shift is to admire, genuinely, what is happening in front of me.
The big shift – and this is the one for me at the moment – is to know, without a shadow of a doubt, that what just happened as I listened was better than anything I could have helped to produce by speaking. That is colossal. And it produces magnificence.
Little wonder really, that the person(s) being listened to has now their own pristine canvas, unencumbered by all my effort to fix something!
My job these days is to be big enough to hear all of that magnificence.
I wonder, do people who live near the arctic circle get “ho-hum” about the miracle of the Northern Lights?
I am nowhere near ho-hum (nor ever could be!) about the symphony of courage I get to listen to on a daily basis, but I do notice that I need to expand myself to take it all in, to allow myself to feel the enormity of what is happening in front of me. Somehow I have to grow myself every day to be expansive enough to receive the beauty, the near-miraculous nature of what I am hearing.
And I imagine the ripple effects! Infinite ripples. As I listen to my clients give language to being courageous, liberated, bold, creative and innovative, I get to imagine the impact of all this expression of human-life-as-art. I get to imagine what will happen in the realm of relationships, or of healing, wholeness and health, of joy-creation, of new ventures in which people thrive, of conversations in which old wounds get healed and new intimacy gets birthed.
So, yes. Little wonder, really, that it feels miraculous.
Very strange then, that we still put the word “just” in front of the word “listening”!