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Creating an Atmosphere of Listening





Each of us has the power to profoundly influence the atmosphere of the groups within which we live and communicate. It means being fully responsible for our own experience  – for the sensations we recognize within ourselves, the emotions we either allow or resist, the intuition we heed or do not, and the thoughts to which we choose to give power. The more we are aware of what is driving our experience – physical, emotional and mental  – the more we can be at choice, and as leaders, create a team where receptivity, responsiveness, trust, curiosity and healthy debate are the air we breathe.


This is where we are driven by our background conversations. The thoughts can sound like this, “She doesn’t respect me.” “That’s never going to work.” “I’ll never get a word in edgewise.” “These people are living in la-la land.” “We’ll never pull this off.” These thoughts are familiar, repetitive and invariably negative. Everything that is said to us, especially in situations of stress, is heard through the filter of this already listening. And the outcome is a foregone conclusion.


When we choose to receive ourselves generously, by sensing ourselves in our physical body, by sensing the movement of breath in our body, we are creating a state of being in which we are listening to ourselves generously. This generosity also emanates outward, naturally. And we are better able to consciously offer it. So … rather than unconsciously projecting our background conversation onto another person, we can intentionally choose to receive, be curious, and recognize him or her as a separate being who has an entirely unique experience and a valuable viewpoint to contribute.


Receiving ourselves and others allows us to:

  •      Listen generously
  •       Listen FOR relationship
  •       Listen FOR possibilities
  •      Listen FOR commitment
  •      Listen FOR what’s needed


   A state of being we find within ourselves

  •     In receptiveness, I have “choice”
  •     In receptiveness, I can be with conflict as a creative force, both within myself and with other
  •     In receptiveness, I find trust … in myself and the world
  •   In receptiveness, I sense my Self
  •   In receptiveness, my perception is sharpened – I can discern what’s going on


A way of being that I choose

  •  The ability to respond
  •   How I relate to current circumstances and the future
  •  I can take the stand – “I am responsible”
  •  Absence of blame or credit – the power to courageously contribute
  •  Gives me the ability to discern my experience from another person’s – own rhythm/other rhythm


Your allowed breath offers you yourself. The foundation is physical. Just by sensing the movement of breath, and therefore being aware of your Self, living in your physical body, the gate opens to real, satisfying and productive communication with others.

Ask yourself, “What if I have the power …within me …  to generate my internal state of being and therefore the external atmosphere … and so impact the outcome?”

  •     Receive or Defend?
  •    Respond or React?
  •   Listen or Wait to Talk?
  •    Welcome or Dominate/Hide

What if, as leaders and as human beings, we could live our days with this intention:

Every day, may I meet every person,

including myself, as if for the first time.


May I speak to them

as if it is my last opportunity.