Monday, 20 January 2014 18:19

Senses wide Open

Written by  Warren Te Brugge
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Listening with True Intent

There are times in our lives, for each of us that we really thought we were listening and later realized that in fact, listening was actually the last thing we were doing. Sometimes we get caught up in the moment, in the excitement and we forget what we intended to do and accomplish. Listening with true intent is exceptionally hard. Even when we might not actually voice our thoughts, we are still having them. Justifying, criticizing, refuting and reasoning why we know better, out idea is better, or why the audience we are working with is just plain wrong. That audience could be one person a small group or a large group of people.

Willing to adapt

It’s not our answers to our own questions that count; it's the answers that our audience present and speak to through their interpretation and experience that DO count. Sometimes, even the question we asked may not have been framed correctly for audience and could even have been the incorrect question entirely. Our 'answers' and 'question modifiers' can come in many forms. Those forms could include body language, expressions, side conversations, diversions, distractions or comments to you and exploratory or clarifying questions. We may not have thought of our question in the way it gets reframed because we are constrained by our own experiences, views, beliefs and ‘boxes’, so to speak. In my experience, and I learn every day with every new experience, I have learned thus far, that when you are in a dialogue with people or want to engage in one you need to hear their questions and answer them, even though they may be diametrically opposed to your ideals, thoughts and beliefs. By adapting you can create a safe environment and enable your audience to feel heard and acknowledged by allowing them to present answers in a safe that environment. By freeing yourself from your own constraints and allowing them to answer your questions from their own context and adapt and even modify your questions, you can offer other thoughts and ideas for your audience to consider alongside their own thoughts and beliefs. What I’ve found is that the audience, in my case typically diverse audiences in may aspects, then come to a different answer, if you will, that may not be my answer but it is different and in most cases it happens to create greater wins and ultimately success for all.

Creating the spaces

What motivates people around us and demonstrates true transparency, commitment and humility, is enabling people to see we are just like them, and that each of us happen to perform different functions while serving our greater organizational community. We each bring value. This builds trust and a safe environment, adding to what I mention above. We want people to know it’s okay to try, and to fail, and to get back up, with our help, and try again. We learn that through taking the risk each of us, most importantly, grow and learn to adapt. Obviously we each don't want to fail at everything, however it does us seeing the lessons, being open to change, and to adapting our views and thoughts to modify our approach and to keep getting up moving in the direction we want. Being able to have these experiences stimulates creativity and ultimately innovation, because where we do fail, we more than likely and typically lost sight of our audience, our true goal or our purpose in what we had set out to achieve. We want people in our environments to learn to step up and take the risk to create change, to embrace failures and bumps in the road and have to the mentoring, coaching, learning and supporting beliefs to keep getting up and pushing themselves forward setting the example for others to as they lead them into new territory, discovery new experiences and break the chains of their current environments or circumstances. You will take knocks, bruises and even some 'cuts, wounds and broken bones', but keep marching, keep leading, you will survive and the environment and people around will change, grow and transform. 

Stay the Course

Stay the course… It may just take a little longer than you’d hoped and even take a different form that you were able to see at the time, and it will be ‘perfect’.

What do you think? Share your thoughts and ideas with us.

To support the work we do through our Foundation, My Arms Wide Open, in Communities visit the My Arms Wide Open donation pages in Canada, the United States or the United Kingdom.


About Manzimvula®: We help companies to unleash hidden capacity, inspiring people, engaging teams, and sparking breakthrough performance. Manzimvula, a Certified B Corporation, is a consulting and program management practice that works with our clients on sustainability and corporate responsibility issues with a keen focus on establishing trust and enabling relationships across a broad set of stakeholders as "Community Engagement Practitioners". To stimulate ingenuity and create growth, we work alongside our clients, guiding them through our Purposeful Path to Sustainability Program™ utilizing our Integrative Strategy Approach™ to help them engage their organization at a deeper level to understand mindset and create alignment with core strategies and principles.

Manzimvula's interests and intent, lies in developing sustainable community and international development models by enabling mindset. By working both internally and on the ground in program and project implementations we support clients to increase ROI and leverage investments in technology solutions & development, program & project implementations and Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility programs and initiatives.


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Read 5389 times Last modified on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 15:55
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