Listening and control

I’ve been intrigued to see how different people respond to the idea of a spectrum of listening. And I am heartened by it too.

The notion of listening with and listening in seems to have awakened a desire to go deeper. Not just for ourselves, but as a way of being in the world that unleashes so much more.

However, I’ve also realised that being more intentional in our listening in this way also requires us to give up control. The spectrum from 0 to 4 is also a process of letting go:

0 – EMPTY – not even there, just appearing to listen but only going through the motions. We are absolutely in control.
1 – LISTEN FOR – waiting for the opportunity to put our point of view or experience. We want control, but we are starting to engage.
2 – LISTEN TO – being intentionally focussed, but screening out the rest. We are ceding control of the conversation, but trying to limit what else affects us.
3 – LISTEN WITH – being present to the whole, noticing much more. We are open to a much wider range of stimulus, immersing ourselves, whilst also keeping our identity.
4 – LISTEN IN – silence, deep listening at peace and without judgement, takes a while but certainly isn’t empty! We are really letting go.

So the reality is that we can’t press into listening, without relinquishing control.

Amazingly, this is the place where ‘magic’ happens. We are changed in the process – it does affect our resonance (How is your sound box?) – and we grow. Not actually losing our identity, but becoming even more of ourselves.

Letting go to become more.

How good is that?