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By , December 13, 2008 1:08 pm

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So, yesterday I asked myself, “Why do I practice Intuitive Focusing?” and I answered from my “felt sense,” the “intuitive feel” that came in the center of my body in response to that question. Using Intuitive Focusing, I carefully went back and forth between any words/images that came and my body’s “felt response,” until I found symbols that were “exactly right” in capturing the “feel of it all.”

Today, I am asking myself, “Why do I practice Focused Listening?” and, as I use Intuitive Focusing to articulate the intuitive feel,” we will see what comes in answer — not from my “head,” the already-known I have said many times in the last thirty years of teaching Listening/Focusing, but from today’s fresh, bodily experiencing.

So, “Why do I practice Focused Listening?” (closing my eyes, going inside quietly, waiting for the “felt sense” to arise in the area of my solar plexis, and only then looking for symbols to describe it) —- Big sigh.

(long pause) — Well, without Listening, the whole world would fall apart! There is nothing more powerful, no better human response, than just showing another that you have heard them by simply saying back, or “reflecting” their own words to them.

And immediately people will want to scoff and laugh and say, “How silly — just stupid parroting.” But, when it actually happens to you, when you feel yourself completely understood, encompassed by your own words coming back to you — well, this is a Sacred experience (stopping to get “out of my head” and to wait again for the fresh, intuitive “bodily-felt sense” to arise so that my words come freshly from that “felt experience” — (big sigh). (long pause)

I am asking myself the Focusing Question, “What do I mean by the word Sacred?” — (pause for Focusing inward). Big sigh. —

I don’t want to “scare people away” by using the word “Sacred.” I could just say “It feels really good to be understood.” But, it really is more than that. Martin Buber, in his book I and Thou, spoke of those moments when we step out of I-It relating, seeing the other as an object to be manipulated and used, into I-Thou relating, where we meet each other without veils, in our essential humanness.

And I guess “essential humanness” is the same, somehow, as what many of us mean by The Divine, The Sacred within each person.

(pausing to “check in” with the “intuitive feel” — “something in me” is saying, “Yikes! Now you are really going to scare people away. You want BUSINESS PEOPLE to use Focused Listening among themselves!” So, now, I am going to pause and “sense into” this aspect, the “business application” of Focused Listening —- (Big sigh. Pause for “felt sensing” before speaking) —

What comes is that “Businesses need to be more friendly places, places where people can feel understood, can feel ‘seen’ for who they are, not just what they do.” (there is something tearful here, I am afraid to admit while I am trying to be business-like!) (pause to check with this teary feeling, “What is that about? What touches me about this?”)

People LIVE in their business settings! They spend more time there than anywhere else. They suffer stress and interpersonal conflict. They stay home rather than face another day. They change jobs too often to get away from a hostile situation.

Certainly we can stand to infuse a little Listening, a simple bit of empathic understanding, the small gesture of Active Listening to show a colleague that we value what they are expressing, even if we disagree with it.

And other days I will blog about how Intuitive Focusing, partnered with Focused Listening, can be used to articulate creative ideas and innovative solutions and to create a Culture of Creativity. But, for today, what comes is that people do want simple human kindness in the workplace.


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Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

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