Episode #5: Listening

We hear a lot about listening to our teams, co-workers, and perhaps even our kids. But what about listening to ourselves?

When we listen well, to the messages our body is sending to us, we have the opportunity to support ourselves in a way that builds our health, strength, resilience, and ultimately, performance. When we listen well, we build connections (as opposed to barriers and disconnect). What do missed opportunities for listening look like? And what is the cost?

If we do not listen to, and care for, our basic physical needs, our well-being suffers. We can even create disconnects that are difficult to bridge--an inability to "hear" what our body is trying to tell us over time. Over time, this failure to listen leads to chronic illness and disease. Learning to listen, and (re)building physical wellness and resilience, begins with the basics. In this episode, I share some of the ways I have learned to recognize, and respond to, the signals that my body is sending to me.    


On the last show, I talked about the importance of giving ourselves the time and space to ask ourselves potentially scary questions about how our lives may be out of alignment with our values, vision, purpose and well-being.

So this week I wanted to spend some time talking about listening. 

If you are a leader, you have probably heard how important it is to listen to your team. You may have even been coached on listening skills. In fact, a quick google search of “leaders should listen” generated 97,800,000 results. And even without all of the scholarly and developmental admonitions you have likely experienced the positive benefits of listening to your team compared to times when maybe you forgot to listen before trying to take them with you somewhere.

If you are a parent, you know that children ask their parents to listen. Frankly, they demand it. And again you likely have experienced what it is like to try to navigate a conflict with your child when you have the patience to listen, really listen compared to the times that you are distracted, trying to move quickly. Our children have the power to stop us in our tracks if we do not take the time to hear what they have to say. And we as parents get REALLY frustrated when our kids don’t listen to us!!!!

And as human beings we have all have experienced the benefits of listening to others and feeling truly listened to . . . and we also know how yucky it can feel when we don’t feel like someone has taken the time to truly listen to us.

And yet, in the rush of the day to day, it can be incredibly easy to forget to listen:

What can “not listening” look like:

*the way we approach the conversation (like I did when I was 15) can indicate that we are not interested in listening

*listening while preparing our answer

*failing to turn our full attention to the conversation (talking behind or in conjunction with a screen)

*not asking follow-up questions

*getting defensive

*asking someone “how they are” (or any other question) with the expectation of getting a certain answer

*social media . . . says listen to me, but I don’t “really” have an interest in listening to you

*endless distractions both conscious and unconscious

Listening to our bodies:



When we don’t listen:



*weight gain

*weight loss
Our bodies talk to us . . . sleep, anxiety, depression, heart attack, blood pressure, weight gain, illness . . . 

When we are talking about fundamental needs--we need to respond when we realize we are off course--because failure to address these fundamental needs can have grave, long-term consequences in terms of our health and our performance and our ability to fulfill our purpose in the world.

Re-build the connection to others by showing up, being present, and listening! Re-build the connection to ourselves by showing up, being present, and listening!

What about listening to people we don’t know or don’t agree with?

When is the last time you asked someone how they are with the intent to listen to the answer . . . really listen?

Next Episode

Responding to emotions is different than responding to our physical needs

Headaches after titanic

The answer is not in your head . . . 

Positive and negative emotions show up in our body through sensations. . . tight throat, chest, butterflies, headaches, nausea . . . 

What does it feel like when someone listens, really listens: relief, emotion, safety, connection, care