The Space

Why is it so difficult to just listen? 

It may be a bit easier to understand after watching Micheal Sikorsky‘s Walrus Talk on Innovation. Early in the history of documentation writing was one long script with breaks only appearing at the edge of the page. With nothing but time capturing knowledge through writing was the domain of Monks and it stayed that way for quite a few years. Though as more learned to read and write spaces began to appear to make the messages more meaningful and easier to understand.At least that is how Sikorsky, founder of Robot’sNPencils, introduces the invention of ‘The Space’.

It took 800 years for the world to say we need to add space between the words. Considering that, seems we can cut ourselves some slack on how long takes some of us to learn how to add space in our conversations and simply listen. Whether it is waiting for answer or a response under you, it requires the conscious action of inserting ‘The Space’.

Allowing space is a habit I have had to work on. A habit that is ever so noticeable when starting a colt, as the colt needs to be able to think about, what just happened. It is that moment in time where I have been learning how to listen.

To help me develop ‘The Space’ habit, I count – a thousand 1; a thousand 2; a thousand 3 all the way to 60. Yes, it meant I was still doing, but it allowed time for my colt to experience the reward of doing nothing. Through that I could feel the power of the pause.As I gain comfort in the silence, I no longer need to count. I now can listen long enough that I notice when the colt is ready so I can inquire with a question as to what we can do next. The early rides are becoming shorter because we are getting more done sooner.As a leader I have a range of abilities in my team. So it is my responsibility to adapt to each individual from starting a colt to allowing a horse to carry themselves and be responsible for their own movements.

While each activity we go through is not new for me, it may be for them so I need to use my experience and skill to help each horse develop to their fullest potential. I am finding great reward in the repetition and at every stage of each individuals development.

Being able to insert ‘The Space’ is an activity that has benefited me in many ways. I am finding it easier to ask a question and then wait. It has really helped me to listen to where the individual is at and I notice more about where my support is required. With that information I am able to Inquire with a better question to help the individual see a different result.

So listening really isn’t difficult, it just requires that conscious insertion of ‘The Space’.

Thanks Michael

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