Today I have tried to have a listening presence at work with a colleague going through some stuff. My mind constantly runs off into thought and when I am in conversations I am often distracted and thinking ahead about my own mental to do list, or worrying about what to say and trying to pre-empt the conversation. I am practicing settling back when someone is talking to me and really listening to them, allowing for a natural pause and dialogue to occur rather than rushing in and interrupting them (even if in agreement e.g. “that is like this time when I…”.).
It’s kinda scary and nerve wrecking at first, but I think other people can subliminally sense when you are really ‘there’ and it is a comfort to them and allows for a more meaningful conversation to occur. In a strictly ‘work’ sense too it allows you to de jumble your thoughts more and come out with a more constructed response.
The tricky part is being at ease with the natural pause between sentences. You can practice it when reading a book/paper or listening to a podcast or blog, what did I just type? 😛 Sometimes I listen to news podcasts but don’t really listen at all and then feel slightly annoyed at myself afterwards which is just silliness.