“Listen to be impacted”

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Over the recent weekend, I had the privilege of attending a workshop led by Marie Thouin, and she shared some insights that truly resonated with me: “listen to be impacted.” While we often hear about the importance of active listening – nodding, paraphrasing, and showing attentiveness – Marie emphasized something deeper. She urged us to be open to the possibility of being changed and influenced by what we hear, rather than just going through the motions of repeating back information.

This notion struck a chord with me, particularly in light of the central role attunement plays in my work. Renowned psychologist Dr. Dan Siegel eloquently describes attunement as the process of allowing our internal state to align with that of another, fostering a profound sense of connection and understanding. This concept is pivotal not only in fostering healthy relationships but also in nurturing the emotional well-being and development of children.

Dr. Siegel underscores that children require attunement to feel secure and thrive emotionally, but the significance of attunement extends far beyond childhood. Throughout our lives, we all crave that deep sense of connection and closeness that comes from truly being heard and understood. So, as we engage in conversations and interactions, let us heed Marie’s wisdom: let us listen not merely to respond, but to be impacted, to embrace the potential for change, and to foster authentic connections.

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