It had taken 5 weeks, slowly working at it. They had to learn the exercise, understand its purpose and build their trust in applying it. They had to abandon the desire to control the outcome, forget any concepts they had about acting and simply trust their natural ability to listen. They had to convince themselves that they had the skill and that this exercise was easy. And suddenly … it was.
It’s like riding a bike. You can’t fake it. You have to actually do it. And like riding a bike once an actor can really listen there is no turning back and the skill will never be forgotten. For both JOAN LEO and BEN McCREERY this was a major turning point.
Their listening was honest, real and lifelike. It was lifelike because they were using the listening skills that they use daily in life. They weren’t acting listening. They were simply … listening. They listened to …
- The meaning of what was being said to them
- How that meaning affected the relationship
- What they wanted to say in response
- Whether they were saying what they wanted to say
- How what they said affected the other person
- What options were available in response
- Which of those options were appropriate to use
- Whether they were really understanding what was unfolding
- And how much the other person liked them.
And they accomplished all those complicated processes in a state of total relaxation because it was EASY.
Congratulations, BEN and JOAN. That was a quantum leap forward.