Listening–it’s magic

Listening has the quality of the wizard's alchemy.

Want to win clients, gain influence and find friends? Stop talking and start listening…

There is so much noise out there, so many people shouting about how great they are–and what do people really want? They want to be heard, they want someone to listen. If you are listening, really listening, you are working magic.

Every time I mediate or help resolve a dispute, the effectiveness of listening is blindingly obvious–often the problems arise because people didn’t listen. You don’t have to be a mediator to

As a mediator, one of the most powerful tools in resolving conflict is listening. My role is to listen to people and to help them listen to each other. The steps I use in mediation can be used every day to improve your listening.

Preparing to listen

Check your feelings: If someone feels unheard, they will not want to hear the other’s point of view. So in a mediation, the first thing I do is to really listen to each party, encouraging them to tell their story, to clarify it in their mind. Speaking to a neutral third party is very liberating, as I don’t judge, I just listen. Usually, I meet with each party separately first, and once they feel heard, people calm down and are more likely to act more constructively.

People start to heal the moment they feel heard.  Cheryl Richardson

If you are feeling angry and resentful, you won’t be able to listen properly. Check if you are really ready to listen. For some tips on how to change your viewpoint and tap into the power of listening, email

Think about the benefits of listening:  How will the person feel if you really listen to his/her point? What could you learn? 

How to turn on the magic

Put away your phone, turn to face the person, give them your full attention. If you are trying to do anything else at the same time, you aren’t really listening.

Listen to the words, the tone. Watch the facial expressions and body language.

Don’t judge, don’t start thinking of how you are going to respond…just listen. If your mind starts to wander, imagine that you have to repeat their speech to an audience–it can help you concentrate

Pause after the person has finished speaking, if you don’t understand, ask for clarification, or more information.

Show you have heard by saying something like “It sounds like…..have I understood you correctly?”

Research shows that once a person feels hear and understood, they feel better, even if nothing has changed. This has even been shown to be the case with physical pain.

The most important thing is that we need to be understood. We need someone to be able to listen to us and to understand us. Then we will suffer less. Thich Nhat Hanh

If you need someone to listen to you, or to help you listen, email and we can arrange a free 15-minute consultation.