Listening with Less on Our Minds | Video

The Surprising Impact of Listening with Less on Our Minds.


What if you are doing something with your mind that is getting in the way of your ability to listen, get fresh perspective, get to the heart of the matter and make a difference? What if I told you that the secret to being more productive, efficient and influential all leads back to this as well?

What if I said it had to do with your ability to listen, I mean really listen?

Listening is one of those topics where we all kind of think, “Yeah I get it, I could listen better at times”, yet we don’t really see what’s in the way of our listening. In the below video, I share how I realized my own busy mind was interfering with my results, my relationships and even my own state of mind.

Do you think you already know how to listen? Well, stay with me. If you’re like me, you just might see something new that will give you a whole new appreciation for a subject that gets little, if any, of our attention, much less our respect.

When I started to see the role our minds play in our ability to perform and connect moment to moment, I saw how busy my mind was. I saw how much I was actually doing internally and how it was affecting my listening. This was invisible to me yet once I saw it, I could see how it was getting in my way.

I was coming to conversations with way more on my mind than listening or understanding. And from what I’ve seen with my clients, I can guess you might be doing this too.

If you’ve found yourself impatient, restless, annoyed, quick to interrupt, waiting for your turn to talk or dominating the conversation then that’s your clue that you’ve got a busy mind too. All of these things hurt rapport and actually contaminate our ability to get to the heart of the matter, to bring fresh thinking to a situation or to problem-solve. If you’ve walked away thinking you were on the same page only to find out later there was a misunderstanding – that’s another clue you’ve got more on our mind than you realize and it’s affecting your listening.

Here are some examples of what I’ve seen for myself and others. Here’s what we are doing with our minds that’s getting in the way of really listening:

  • Listening to make a point or explain
  • Listening to clarify, redirect or correct
  • Listening to teach, to intervene and yes, even listening to “help” can get in our way
  • Assessing what the other person is saying
  • Drawing conclusions
  • And the most popular one…thinking we know what’s needed and in a hurry to get it said and move on to the next thing

Once we let go of our agenda, our impatience, our desire to make a point, assess, correct, etc. we naturally fall into deeper listening. We are more present and as a result we see where to go and what is needed in the moment.

Our ability to listen with less on our minds, to be present, allows us to get to the heart of the matter more quickly

When we listen with less on our minds, we access new levels of creativity, connection and rapport. We are more efficient and productive. We get on the same page and from there we move forward.

I’ve seen the incredible results and connections that can happen when we see this for ourselves and we are willing to show up with less on our minds. I’ve seen executives with years of ill-will and competition between them start to hear each other in new ways. I’ve experienced a father and daughter heal from past misunderstandings and I’ve experienced a new depth of connection with my family and friends.

And when I hear about teams that are struggling, organizations that are having problems with productivity or innovation, I know that they are doing something internally that’s creating pressure and affecting their ability to really hear and listen and ultimately be successful.

Understanding the relationship between state of mind and our moment-to-moment performance and our ability to listen and connect helps us. It gives us what we need to see real change, to bring our best selves to the situation and to do it all with more ease.

Seeing this has helped me value and respect listening much more in my own life and I know it can do the same for you.

Our ability to listen with less on our minds, to be present, allows us to get to the heart of the matter more quickly.

Experience for yourself the difference less on your mind can have in your ability to listen, see something new and access fresh perspective

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Barbara Patterson is the owner of a global coaching and consulting company helping solopreneurs, entrepreneurs & leaders access more clarity, creativity, have greater impact and higher levels of fulfillment in work and life. She is the founder of Beyond Limits in Business, a global platform and community designed to point people to the source of human potential. That potential resides within and is experienced via our minds. Barb is also the host of the Real Business Real Lives podcast. You can follow Barb on Linkedin and Instagram. You can also subscribe to her weekly blog on her website at 



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