How can we experience deep authentic connection with others?
Our post pandemic world has cultivated a new hunger for deeper, more authentic connection for many of us. The pandemic has highlighted the strength of our connections and also the gaps.
There is an increased value and focus on how important real community is. The pandemic has reminded us of how valuable it is and how much we want and need it! But we want something a bit different to what we had before. Authenticity or ‘being real’ are words that are being used a lot.
An accelerator to increase the depth, authenticity, and transparency in our relationships, is to increase our emotional intelligence through learning coaching skills. Coaching skills transform the way we connect with people and ourselves and God.
These three basic mindset shifts and skills (part of learning co-creative coaching), will accelerate your ability to go deeper in your all your connections:
Moving from Passive Listening to Active Listening
Coaching skills teach us to move from a passive position when we listen to others to an active approach. Normally without training our conversations with people are passive. We meander along, in many directions, with many distractions along the way, going to surprise destinations. Active listening, which is a skill taught when learning to coach, takes us to a place of pro-actively digging deeper, asking powerful, meaningful, focussed questions that go to the heart of the matter, in a gently assertive way, making a person feel truly listened to, truly seen and truly connected.
Using the Power of Intuition
The skills of active listening are numerous! One of my favourite more advanced active listening skill is to learn to connect with intuition. Moving a conversation at a head level, engaging our mind and our thinking, building our knowledge and using logic, to an ‘intuitive space’, where we creatively communicate heart to heart and experience a whole new level of connection.
Our intuition is powerful. It is a place where God speaks to us and leads us from. When connecting to our intuition, we connect in a different place in our body, not to our mind or head, but more to our core or our ‘gut’. Holy Spirit often speaks to us via our ‘gut’ or our intuition. We may feel peace, or alignment with something, not because of logic, but more because of a ‘feeling’ from deep in our gut. Alternatively, we may feel a sense of unease, which when we analyse it, comes from this same place.
Tuning into a Deeper Realm of Connection
This deep place in each of us, bypasses our mind, but opens up a whole new realm of possible connection. Learning to actively listen and ‘coach’ from this place, brings about extraordinary connection with others. It also brings about new revelation, and when God is connected to in this place, it brings about life transforming conversations!
In the Bible David describes a place of connection as ‘deep cries out to deep’ (Psalm 42:7). When we learn deep listening skills, actively listening to our intuition and inviting Holy Spirit into this level of conversation, we start to experience a level of connection that is beyond surface. This type of connection connects hearts and spirits as well as our minds.
Learning active listening co-creative coaching skills, (from Destiny Coaching’s model), teach us how to tap into this realm, as a normal part of everyday conversations with those we work with, our families and our relationship with God.
The results from learning to listen deeply and actively, is closer relationships. It helps each of us to have a greater relational intelligence. So many students who learn these skills, say that they end up having closer relationships with their adult children and their spouses. In a work context, leaders are able to engage with their teams in a closer way, understanding their needs, and learning how to communicate the vision and purpose of an organisation more easily. Many times, difficult work relationships are turned around to become the most rewarding ones!
Finally, when we learn to actively listen in this way, our connection with God is taken to a new level and strengthened. When we learn to connect with The Lord as a person, asking Him powerful; questions we start to hear him powerfully!
Grow your Relational and Emotional Intelligence
Here are a couple of small, quick exercises to help you to learn to connect with your intuition and grow your relational and emotional intelligence:
To do on yourself:
A big part of emotional intelligence is being aware. Start with becoming more self-aware.
In this moment, what emotions are you feeling? Take a moment to sit and write a list of all of the positive and negative emotions you are feeling. Then look at it, explore ones that surprise you, by asking yourself, why am I feeling this?
Think of a decision that needs to be made – for yourself. Ask yourself, what does my logic, my brain tell me is right? Then try tuning into your intuition on the same decision. ‘Feel’ what your intuition tells you. Reach deep inside in your ‘gut’, bypassing your head, and find the feeling that resides somewhere below your neck. What is that feeling and what is it telling you? Now ask The Lord, what does this mean Lord, show me more about this feeling.
To do on a someone else:
Find a Guinea pig who could do with help to make a decision, (maybe a spouse, friend, work colleague). Ask them these questions and see how it helps them:
If you were to put aside all logic, and what may be the ‘right’ thing to do and follow your inner peace, your gut, your intuition, what would you decide?
What would be your ideal outcome of the decision, a ‘too good to be true result’? How does exploring this help you decide?