"We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worthy of listening to, worthy of our trust and sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit." — e.e. cummings
If it’s true, as e.e. cummings suggests, that we need the experience of another person believing in us before we can believe in ourselves, the question to ask is: how can we be the kinds of people that reveal to others that they are valuable? What can we do to help others believe in themselves? How can we affect others in ways that grow their confidence in themselves and ultimately sets them free to reveal their magnificent human spirit?
One way is to BE the kind of person that can be authentically present with another, and develop the communication skills that truly make the other person feel seen and heard, understood and appreciated.
Sounds easy, right?
Wrong. It’s not easy. It requires us to do both the inner work of becoming a self-aware and self-loving person …..and to become skilled at communicating in just the right way to get through to the other person.
Why the inner work is so important: we can only truly be present with another person to the degree we can be present with ourselves. We can only truly value in another what we value in ourselves. Said differently, anything we have a judgment about in ourselves, we will judge in others. And, here’s the thing, we cannot fake ‘being non-judgmental’. Fakeness is easily detected, no matter how good we think we are at hiding it. When it is, it triggers a fight or flight response in the other. No matter how sincerely you think you’re coming across, at some level your judgments will be registering in the other person’s brain and they will shut down.
The only solution to this is to do your work of becoming authentically self-aware and self-loving. For the external communication skills: there is a structure to a Catalytic Conversation. There are things to say and ways to say them that register in and connect the 3 main areas of the brain: the reptilian (fight or flight), the limbic (emotions and memories) and the cortex (thinking). It involves (1) reflecting, (2) empathizing, (3) validating and (4) redirecting. When you get it right you listening skills play a vital role in helping the other person feel felt and valued. When they feel valued by you and they begin to value themselves.
Please join me for the upcoming Listening Labs in which you’ll get to practice the Catalytic Conversation structure. The labs are free - my gift to our community. now more than ever skillful,self-aware listeners are needed! jolinakaren.com/events.
Jolina works with thoughtful men and women who want to be the best leaders, parents and partners they can be. They care about relationships and want coaching on how to best address the inevitable challenges that arise when interacting with people. Learn more at jolinakaren.com or call 970-389-4513