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How to be present in communication


Listening and communicating
Being present in communication

Imagine the scene, you are talking to someone, and it becomes clear to you they have switched out and are no longer really listening to you.


How do you feel? I am guessing it's not important or valued.


So how can we be present and help others to feel like they are important and why is that a good way to listen.


Research in child psychology shows when parent/carers spend about 15 minutes a week focussing solely on the child with no distractions and doing what they want to do the child's behaviour improves and they are more likely to respond to requests in a positive way.


If we did this in all our relationships, I am willing to bet we would see an improvement. That is just 15 minutes a week. What stops us from doing this?


Simple, time and we don't know how to be present and listen. We are taught how to speak but not how to listen. Yet this is the key skill, crisis negotiators in policing, the Samaritans, councillors and coaches use. They understand the value of giving another person a "really good listening to".


When we feel listened to there are a couple of magical things that happen:


  1. We feel valued and validated

  2. We are more likely to listen to the other person.

Great, sounds simple right?


Communication and especially listening are a skill, it takes practice, time and conscious effort on our part.


When we get it right it can be amazing and when we get it wrong it can have consequences.


Because most of our communication comes from an unconscious position, we don't really reflect on what we are doing and the impact this can have on the other person.


Being present means putting aside all our judgements, all the voices in our heads (internal) and thinking about the world from our own perspective.


When we are able to sit and "be" with the other person that's when we are fully present.


Challenge - give it a go and see how present you can be int he next conversation you have.


Let me know how you get on.


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