609-664-7955 gcaruso@artofbv.com

Have you ever worn rose colored glasses? At first, everything is pink. Weirdly pink. But then you get used to it, and it seems normal. Kind of like, “It’s just the way it is, the way things work.”

Rose colored glasses are a filter for our eyes. We also have filters for our ears. Maybe not as obvious, but filters just the same. Science has proven we all have a way of hearing what we want. Hearing what we already agree with. Hearing what supports our views.

Most of the time this works well. It’s why we do it.

Yet, if we know something is not working, and we want or need change – then our filters can get in the way. Just like seeing pink becomes normal with rose colored glasses, we hear what we want to hear. Rarely is that change. But there are ways, with a little concentration, to take the filters off – just like removing the rose glasses.

Steps to listening (It helps to prepare!)

  1. Remind yourself that things are not what you think
    • Remember, you are trying to hear new ideas. Open your mind to the fact that there are unlimited possibilities (I know some of you are fighting this thought already).
  2. Clear your “view” – rose colored glasses
    • Take thirty seconds and try to quiet your mind (you never will, but the exercise is good for you). Then slowly breath in and out three times.
  3. Quiet the voice in your head
    • Just listen. The little voice is going to speak but relax and minimize it until later. You will have plenty of time to dissect the message later. You only have this present moment to really hear what is being said.
  4. Be aware of your unspoken needs, body language and perception
    • Pay attention. Nod, agree where you might. Ask for clarifications if you really don’t understand (not to prove your point) and at appropriate times repeat what was said in your words to be sure you really heard it the way it was intended.
  5. Search for the meaning and the commitment behind the message.
    • Remember, what is being said is with the intent of helping. It is that person’s experiences and wisdom. Don’t pick at the words but try to understand the meaning.
  6. Speak your concerns.
    • Bring up legitimate concerns to better understand what is being said, not to impede. This is not a debate. It is an opportunity for you to learn something new and see things from a different perspective.
  7. Do not be thinking of your next question or example. 
    • Again, just listen. You have time to work on your next question when they are through speaking. Breaks in complex conversations are normal.

Try this. It can be exasperating and freeing. You also might find solutions to your seemingly intractable problems.