Active Listening and metaphors improve performance and communications


I have just returned from the Clean Language Conference, where I was privileged to listen to some amazing key note speakers plus work with some very exceptional Clean Language Practitioners. People who used Clean Language to help others work out what it was like when:

Managing at their best?

Teaching at their best?

Or say Parenting at their best?

We saw 5 and 6 year olds self organising because the teacher had helped them establish what it was like when they are learning at their best and she had worked out what she needed to teach at her best. The bravery of this teacher really touched me, she overcame her fears that she may not meet the curriculum requirements. Motivated by the thought if she could not teach at her best in the way that suited her then she probably would have to quit teaching.

That was 3 years ago and now she is teaching at her best with Clean Language questions in the classroom and enjoying teaching again. She has happy content pupils who love school, fewer behaviour issues and she is meeting the curriculum with less stress and in less time.

I have to confess at one point I felt like I was drowning in academic words and evidence about how the human mind uses metaphors not only to describe but also we think metaphorically. I learned that people like Daniel Casasanto a senior scientist at the Max Planck Institute for psycholinguistics, a fellow of the Donders institute for Brain, his list goes on but you get the idea. Anyway he has been paid lots of money to prove or disprove that people not only talk in metaphor they also think in metaphor.

I was extremely grateful at this point to sit there thinking you know what that is great, when you have finished proving that to everyone and they realise the best way for us to sell, understand and connect is by understanding our own metaphors and those of others because we as humans not only talk but we think metaphorically then I already know that because my communication skill works to help people develop metaphors and understand the ones they already have. How exciting to have the solution the world top scientists are working to prove we need……….or at least that is what I understand from the day.

James Geary author and speaker confirmed that on average a person utters a metaphor every 6 words. They are everywhere.

Are you making the most of the metaphors in your life, are you able to develop them as a resource and support system for you to manage, influence, support yourself and those around you.

Try these questions:

When I am (insert something that interests you to explore) at my best that’s like what?

Is there anything else about ……..?

What kind of………… is that……..?

Where is ……………..?

Or try drawing when you are ………..at your best that’s like what?

Do let me know how you get on..

Thanks for listening Sheryl

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About Step by Step Listening

I am the founder of Step by Step Listening and we started as a company that eradicated fear of failure and guilt for mums, we coached mums and daughters, we then worked with sole trader and small business owners and over the years we developed a unique ability to help people create the family or business they desire by being able to tap into the resource of being able to sell ideas/prodcuts/visions/services in a way that feels right and gets results. For some they are learning to sell and idea to themselves perhaps a dream or an ambition they have had for years, for others it could be selling responsibility and independence to a teenager or perhaps selling a vision or a change of structure to a team. What ever it is we use unique a unique facilitation and group process to help you discover when you are selling in a way that feels right that's like what?
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3 Responses to Active Listening and metaphors improve performance and communications

  1. Paula Gilfillan says:

    Hi Sheryl, glad you started your Blog. Happy Blogging! All the best, “A Working Mum”!

    • sbs3 says:

      Thank you paula my next step is to learn how to add people’s blogs like yours. perhaps I could use the story you wrote about your expreince with step by step and add it in the story what do you think

    • sbs3 says:

      I am just catching up and realising I was not polite enough to reply, sppoky I meant to wish you happy birthday a few days ago but got side tracked by the fact I took my son out of school this week and started to home school him. Would be nice to meet for coffee soon would love to read more of your books.
      how did you get on with the illustrations via the school

      Sheryl

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