There are many ways to listen, and to be listened to.
At The Coaches Training Institute, in Florida, where I have my coaching education and certification from, I learned to distinguish between listening at levels I, II and III.
Listening to Level I is beneficial to oneself. You should do that when you make your own assessments and reflections. This is what you do when you filtering information from outside. Do I agree with this, what do I think about this? Here, you have a conversation with yourself. And it’s healthy that you do, but not all the time.
I see at my courses, for example in the introducion part, a start to know each other bether, many is more keen to plan what to say when it comes to their own trip, more then to listen to the others. It is understandable that I take a quick round myself, but not if the inner dialogue takes over – for then you miss out on being introduced and familiar with others.
Listening on Level II is to listen concentratively to what another person is communicating, in a focused way. A professional coach does, a good conversation partner does. Then the one you’re talking to is in your focus. I often do coaching on the phone, I am trained to. I experience phone coaching, intensifying my focus as a coach. That means that I and a good listener do not check sms or mail when listening to level 2. But 100% present to the other person.
It is to “listen” to what is happening in the space. Many people have probably felt bad and good when entering a room. Here are some people more sensitive than others. There is a lot of information in this way to listen. I listen a lot to this level in my coaching conversations and especially when I check the mood and energy during a course day. We constantly change between these levels, based on the roles and focus we have.