When you focus on the work you do for others you generally want to please them and make sure that they are satisfied. However, when it comes to listening to their needs, they don't generally tell you everything you need to know in order to bring about that state of satisfaction. So what can we do to enhance the way we listen to their needs as well as help them gain a perpsetive of knowing what they want and how to communicate that want?
Well the first thing is to understand how communication works to enhance relationships and second is to know how to harness that understanding in a way that embraces all they have to offer. So let's begin with an idea that we can work with, without knowing exactly how it's going to turn out. The idea is the one that focuses on how to understand what is being communicated at the level of understanding they are at. The first thing to remember is that when they speack they will be focusing on their issue and therefore will be expressing it as a representation of how they feel about it at the time. So why is this important?
The manner in which people express their ideas will give you clues as to how they are realising their ideas. This becomes important when you realise that they are focusing on what's current within the sitation they are describing and therefore they will have an idea about what they need to make it into something they want. Now we come to the part that describes how they limit themeslves in the face of gaining an understanding of how best to describe that want. The language they use will have an impact on their neurology, even though they may not be aware of exactly how that happens.
So in order to answer your question 'why is this important?', we need to understand the mechanisims by which this happens. The following paragraphs will attempt to explain something that is complex but easy to understand.
When the brain is asked to perform a task, the neurology responds by firing off neuronal activity and 'telling' the other parts of the brain to either stop or begin a certain activity. The brain then decides to shut down any activity that is not needed and begins processing information in the direction of the desired outcome. It is then able to proceed with actions it desires and allow the major apsectsof it's allegieance with the limbic system to manefest an emotional state in accordance with the perceptive response of the individual concerned. So the main idea is that when we ask the brain to perform, it organises itself into a state whereby it can carry out the necessary functions.
The state of the brain is such that it can dwell on the aspects of learning that focus on the usual trainings it has been accustomed to in order to maintain some semblance of stability, and that's a good thing. The place where it becomes an issue is when the 'good things' become 'bad things' and that's an issue that needs to be looked at carefully from an expert listener's point of view.
The viewpoint of the listener is such that it enables an understanding of how the communicator is responding to his or her own suggestions and that requires a focus of learning how to interpret the meanings. When listening to a client, it's important to understand the implications of what they are saying in the context in which they are saying it. For example, a client who presents with a deep sense of mistrust in her colleagues or business partners is experiencing a feeling that underlies her suspicions about what the person is up to behind her back. And so the idea is that she will be behave in a way that is commensurate with that idea, no matter what the reality of the situation might be. This, to a certain extent, will be the focus of the person who is telling you their story. And it is here where the listener needs most to place their focus, ie the place at which the illusion and reality meet. So the 'what's real and what's not' model of interpretation and understanding is a good place to start.
We will continue this discussion in another post but please feel free to post your comments and add any ideas you feel are important to understanding this further.