Conversations that Mean Something: Deepen Connection and Improve Communication though the Levels of Listening
Over the last few months I’ve spent more time with friends and family than I normally do, and even though a lot of talking has been done, sometimes I’ve ended up feeling disconnected and unimportant, like no one really cares what I have to say. Can you relate? In this day and age of instant communication and accessibility, how could anyone feel unheard or disconnected??
It’s all in the Level of Listening.* Our human brains are hardwired for connection with others. We need to feel understood and valued, that what we do is meaningful, in order to be at our best. Unfortunately, the primary ways we communicate don’t create the feelings we need.
In this 4 minute video I demonstrate the common ways we communicate, and what works best to improve relationships and deepen connections. Watch it now.
As you saw, Level One Listening is characterized by a back and forth of each person saying something about themselves, and not acknowledging what the other person says, and often can include a one-upping of what each other says. Information gets exchanged but no one really feels heard.
Level Two Listening is a two way conversation. One person says something and the other person responds directly to what was said, asking questions, wanting to know more details, sharing their opinion or advice. Feelings of connection and being heard are deeper here.
Level Three Listening goes beyond sharing what, how, or when something happened to the other person, and delves into the feelings and significance of the person sharing. The listener is curious, asks questions about how it felt, what was meaningful, and is aware of what the other person is feeling, not just what they are saying. Level 3 requires vulnerability and trust that can feel risky and uncomfortable. Level 3 is also where relationships are deepened, faith is expanded, and what seemed impossible become possible. This is where connection thrives.
If you want to have conversations that build feelings of connection, make people feel good about themselves, and where everyone feels heard, move away from Level 1 and see what happens.
If you’d like some help, let’s set a time to talk.
* From the Co-Active Coaching model