I recently heard that one of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say. And isn’t showing respect also showing esteem, appreciation and recognition? All of this comes through by simply showing that you are listening. And yet, good listening is one of the hardest things to do.
A key principle that we teach and practice in The CircleTalk Leader Course is listening. Because genuinely listening is the only way CircleTalk can achieve what is was created to achieve: adding value and enrichment to the lives of older adults. In listening to another’s stories, ideas and thoughts, we communicate our authenticity as a leader and genuine desire to affirm the speaker’s value- or personhood.
When we work with older adults in any setting, we are interacting with many people who are at a tender time in their life. This could be that they are in the midst of a transition from one home to another, or they have lost a spouse and/or friends, or they are struggling with a health challenge. This makes it all the more important, that if we pose a question, we need to be able to receive the answer and show we care through deep listening. Modeling for others how to listen deeply, even if the message is not necessarily easy to take in (what we call “welcoming the unwelcome” in our training) is a gift that a Circle leader gives to all members. And as the capacity for deep listening grows in a group so does the group capacity for showing compassion, empathy, and ultimately, trust.
As a Circle leader with over 1000 hours of experience, I am constantly striving to stretch myself and learn from the whole Circle, improving my ability to attune to the emotional content that is embedded in what is said in our circles. I have a great responsibility to be as open and focused as possible as I encourage others to share their lives in the Circle.
Join us on June 16th to delve into this critical life skill; a skill that c ould always use more practice. This will be a day well spent not only learning important techniques for skillful group leadership, but also offering an opportunity to learn more about yourself.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Early bird registration for the CircleTalk Leader Certification Course ends today! Contact [email protected] with any questions about pricing or available scholarships.