Do you like having a massage? I love them and was recently lucky enough to go to the local Arab baths with a massage included in the price. As an English person abroad, I often miss having a proper bath – though I would like to stress that I do shower every day, in case you were thinking – so, public baths with a choice of hot, tepid and very cold water in which you can reflect on life or simply stare vacantly into space is a perfect thing to do to chill out at the weekend.
After an hour or so in the baths, it was time for the massage. It was clear from the outset that the masseur was quite experienced and had quite a firm manner which I quite like. However, having had massages in different places over the years, what struck me is that although this felt very good, it didn’t feel at all ‘personal’. I felt like I was on a kind of massage production line, that he was doing the same massage with everyone and that he wasn’t listening to me or at least my body. For example, on this particular day I had a calf muscle which for some reason was quite tense, but he didn’t sense that as he wasn’t really listening.
He was in ‘send’ mode as opposed to ‘listen’ mode.
Having said that, I understand that the massage was part of the ‘package’ and so to be fair, I wasn’t expecting anything too fantastic but this experience did get me thinking about listening in general and how little people do it.
For example, how many times have you been in conversations where you sense that sometimes the other person isn’t really listening, but simply waiting for an opportunity to say what they want to say? Actively listening is a much underrated skill that when used well can help us all.
So, with that in mind, here are a couple of questions for you to consider:
– How do you feel when you feel you have been really listened to?
– Would you like to be listened to more?
– Are you a good listener?
– How could you be a better listener