I was nervous when I attended my first workshop in NLP, half a decade ago. I did not expect to observe such a powerful transformation in my business and personal front. I was provided with good tools to help me manage my state of mind and explore newer potentials. Armed with it, I ventured to find what is the best NLP technique.
I gained confidence with each challenge I resolved smoothly. My vision and dreams did not seem improbable, and I had no doubt about turning them into reality.
The most important skill involved in transforming my life was Deep Listening. This art of active listening improved my relationships and paved the way for success. This according to me is the best NLP technique.
Deep listening requires greater ability on the part of the trainer (an NLP trainer) or a Coach (business coach, behavioral coach, executive coach). I overheard a person saying “The world will be a better place if all of us learned how to pay more attention to others, and listen at a deeper level.”
So, is ‘deep listening’ different from regular listening followed in a conversation? In general, when involved in a conversation, the mind tends to wander about tasks at hand, happenings in the past or expectations of future. Once, I myself was thinking about lunch, while nodding enthusiastically to a conversation. It happens because we may not be interested in the conversation. But, I have now realized that I should honor the other person’s effort to spend time with me. A casual comment from them could have been the answer I was searching for.
We listen at many levels
Surface-level listening: This type of listening is the most common pretense of engaging in a conversation. The person may show positive physical signs of being present, but is completely disassociated from the discussion. It is also conspicuous to the speaker. This practice hinders the rapport building more so if the speaker holds an important place in one’s life. Everybody is guilty at family gatherings for following this presence in the company of people they do not get along.
Conversational Listening: This is a common type of listening followed in many circumstances. A person thinks about the response while listening to a talk. In this mode, the focus of a person is on self and the response which must be given. This type of listening aims to talk more than listen. It is helpful in everyday communication, but cannot help in circumstances requiring rapport building.
Active listening: This type of listening demands that the listener is present in body and mind. In active listening, he/she pays attention to the speaker and asks right questions to promote deeper communication. This requires the listener to use “clean language” This language ensures that the flow of the speaker is not interrupted. Consider the case where the speaker says, “ I want a better life,” to which an active listener replies with, “Better in what way?” instead of, “Oh, you want a good life. What is ‘good’?”
An active listener helps the conversation by choosing the answers succinctly thereby summarizing the discussion. It is the key skill required in a coach to improve the coaching sessions and maintain focus.
Deep Listening: The next level of active listening is the deep listening, which creates a magical reverie in the speaker-listener atmosphere. This listening helps build rapport at a subconscious level and hence is the best NLP technique. The listener here is acquainted with the speaker's representative system, behavior patterns and meta programs. The listener is also able to visualize speake’s map of the world and hence respond to him/her with appropriate NLP interrupts. The listener is calm and answers without judging the speaker. He/she understands what the speaker is going through, which helps in guiding the speaker to move into a resourceful state.
I got to know about the phenomenal outcome of this skill and probed further about various NLP programmes. The Certified NLP trainer, Certified NLP practitioner and Certified NLP Master Practioner are a few of the various programmes offered in NLP. I was taught the integration of the NLP tools which, when practised at professional, and personal level made the deep listening a second nature. The deep listening finds its applications at various levels of counselling, coaching, sales, leadership, relationships, etc. Using the outcome frame in conjunction with deep listening, helps one improve their interpersonal interactions. Deep listening is the answer to the question of, what is the best NLP technique?