Do You Practice the Art of Being With?

Would you like to be more efficient, more effective, more intimate? Then join us in learning the art of being with.

Being with is a way of listening to people. It’s listening to others without any filters up. One filter compares whatever is said to your own personal experience. Another filter is listening with an agenda in mind, wondering what you’re going to get out of the conversation. There’s also the “right/wrong” filter where we constantly assess I’m right/they’re right, or I’m right/they’re wrong, etc. When you practice being with, you are present without any filters between you and the other person.

You are also present as a whole person. Every person is made up of a mind, body, feelings, and spiritual nature. When you’re being with, all four of these are present in the moment.

To help in understanding being with, let’s look at some examples of what it looks like when we’re not being with. Suppose I’m golfing. I’m looking at the ball in front of me, but thinking about the last ball that hooked or sliced. I’m not really being with the ball in front of me. Or suppose I think, Oh gosh, I should be at home with my wife and kids. Then I’m not being with the ball, either. Not being with my golf game ruins my efficiency and effectiveness.

Intimacy is effectiveness in the realm of personal or business relationships. Suppose I am embarrassed at a management meeting at work. When I come home from work my body may be home, but my emotions are still with the management meeting. Or, if I didn’t complete my work, I may be physically with my family, but my mind is still at the office. You can see how intimacy in relationships can suffer when we don’t practice being with!
How can you practice being with? One way is simply to be conscious of it. Decide that you’re going to be totally present. Quiet all the noise in your mind and cut out all distractions. When you’re being with, you’re very aware of what’s going on with the other person.

Once I had a phone conference scheduled for 9:00 a.m., but was running late. I knew I would get to the office just at 9:00 and then there would be various details in the office to take care of. The last-minute rush and distractions in the office would keep me from being with the person on the other end of the line. So, I asked if we could begin ten minutes later. That gave me the opportunity to come to a place of ground and center, a concept taught in the Leadership Training Seminar. I could ask myself, “What’s my purpose?” to quiet my mind and cut out all distractions.

Another way of being with is to ask, “Hey, do you really feel me being present with you, or do you feel like my mind is somewhere else?” Most people know whether you’re being with them or not; they can feel it. Perhaps you’ve listened to a salesperson intent on sticking with their script and closing the deal, rather than being with you. Even though you may not be aware of what’s happening, most likely you will not buy the product or participate in the business opportunity.

Practice the art of being with and watch your levels of efficiency, effectiveness, and intimacy increase.




One Response to “Do You Practice the Art of Being With?”

  1. phil armatino says:

    This is truly how all would like to be heard. A clean listening might we call it. For me I find this vitally important as a minister because no one situation or experience is the same. And all of us are unique.

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