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Executive Leaders Learning Heart Centered Listening Skills with Career Coach Lauren Jane Heller

Your Mind is a Terrible Listener


As we move into the holiday season, I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of connection.

Connection unlocks the door to trust, collaboration and the ability to join forces with others to work toward powerful outcomes.

The neuroscience of human connection has shown that “our need to connect is as fundamental as our need for food and water”.

All beings are profoundly impacted by social connections. Learning how to deepen our relationships is key not only to our happiness but to our ability to thrive in the world.

Last week, I shared a practice that will help you get clear with yourself by peeling back the layers of stories and beliefs you have about who you are and how you show up in the world. This same process applies to your relationships with others: when you show up with openness, curiosity and the willingness to be honest about your feelings and thoughts, you are able to connect more deeply, enrol others in your ideas, and forgo much of the drama that gets created when you get stuck in your head and need to be right.

Connection requires vulnerability.

It also requires strength and courage. It requires an exchange of energy, of trust and the willingness to show up exactly as you are and be fully present with other human beings.

The more you are willing to show what’s beneath your armour, to play with an open hand, the greater the possibility becomes for you to create and play in the world of “we” rather than going alone and existing as a misunderstood “I”.

For various reasons (most of them connected to childhood trauma and social conditioning), we often struggle to connect deeply with others because we are afraid. We have lost trust in our other centres of intelligence — the gut and the heart.  Our answers do not come from our heads alone; nor does human connection. We connect by being fully present, tuning into others’ energy, and allowing our mirror neurons to do their work.

By matching other people’s expressions, stepping into their reality and seeing life through their eyes, we can build trust without the need for words. This process starts when we are babies. Unfortunately, by the time we are adults we have often lost this innate ability or we have lost trust in it. We have also lost trust in others or we have learned to blame others for our problems.

A few fun challenges for you to try this week as you work to connect deeply with others:

  • Pay attention to the body language and words of other people and see what happens when you mimic them. Do you feel you can step into their shoes? Do you feel more connected to them?
  • Listen deeply without filters: rather than listening to diagnose or fix or make yourself better or worse than the other person, try listening with your heart and gut rather than your mind. What do you receive when you open up all of your faculties rather than trying to get ahead of the conversation?
  • Connect with a stranger: strike up a conversation with someone by paying them a genuine compliment or asking a question and listening deeply to their answer. Notice what happens in your body as you engage with them.
  • Journal on the following prompts:
    • When do you feel most connected in your relationships with others?
    • What keeps you from feeling connected to other people in various contexts (work, family, friends)?
    • What is one thing you can do to foster more meaningful connections in your life?

Want to connect more deeply with others and become more influential?

Connection is one of the pillars of the Shine+ Heart Connected Leadership Program that kicks off in January 2023. We will practice enrolling others into our ideas in a way that feels aligned, and work to rewrite some of the patterns that keep us alone, in our heads, rather than connecting with others from our hearts.

We are calling in two more women to step up and level up their lives and careers with us. Will you be one of them? 

If your curiosity is calling you to explore the possibilities, let's connect. 

Love always, 




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