From the ListenTruly.com BlogHow To Select Your Professional Listener
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Thursday, July 12, 2018
by Mubeena, Founder at ListenTruly.com
To choose the right Listener for your needs, follow these 5 big steps. Take note of questions to ask and traits to observe. A true Listener behaves unlike anyone you know personally. She does not indulge in sarcasm, judgement or any kind of patronizing. She also has a spiritual outlook with a purpose to accept your soul needs.
If you are familiar with how professional listening works, you probably know how vital it is to select the right practitioner for your healing experience. In this post, I address what an authentic Listener should be able to demonstrate. For those of you new to this alternative method of therapy, I urge you to sign up for a free call with me about the benefits of working with an authentic Listener.
A Listener acts as your mirror and reflects a better version of you. She wants to empathize in the truest way possible, by putting herself in your mindset, emotional state and thought pattern. She is required to exhibit absolutely no judgment on your story, situation or state. She stays with you in the moment and meditates on what you are revealing to her. Out of this process, you should experience greater relief and clarity on any situation big or small. The answers, conclusions or closure will emerge out of your own self as you sort through what you are experiencing in the body, mind and soul.
Now that you have a gist of what a Listener does, what is the best way to select the right one? Before we get to that, why is it important to even go through a selection process? Can’t you just look one up, hire her and see how it goes? Take your time choosing the right person to work with because you want to experience a real difference in your day, week, month, year into your life. Trying out various practitioners and deciding they weren’t for you will affect your motivation to get the relief and clarity you deserve. So find the right one the first time and stick with her.
A Listener will be your keeper of secrets, the person you will share every emotion with along with every dream, regret, joy, craze and belief. Unlike a psychotherapist, a Listener holds as much space as you need and let’s you process the way you want to as opposed to some type of prescribed way. Let’s get into how you go about selecting one.
Understand What You Need
The reason you need to take your time selecting a Listener is that you will want to know what you want out of this association first. If you are looking for an expert to medicate you, label you and tell you what to do, a Listener will not help. People who seek Listeners do not want therapy, advice or any type of recovery plan. If your goal is to purely experience relief and clarity on a regular basis minus the judgment, a professional Listener is your ideal option. Please understand that this method is not for everyone. You might be someone who needs somebody else to tell you what to do, how to be and what to feel. But if you have gone through this route in the past and ended up feeling misjudged, undervalued or overwhelmed, then go ahead and look for a professional Listener.
Shortlist Listeners with These Questions
The shortlisting process might seem straightforward but do not do this randomly. Via email, a free call or in a personal meeting, do yourself a favor and demand clear answers to the questions outlined in the section below. If they answer in a copy-paste general kind of way or do not care enough to explain details, it shows that the candidate is impatient and frustrates easily. Do not waste your time if you are not satisfied with the quality of their responses. There are many wannabe practitioners who think that Listening is an “easy job”. Let’s get into these questions, why you should be asking them and what responses you should be looking for.
Question #1. Why are you in this profession?
An authentic Listener chooses this profession because of their desire to fulfill a deep purpose. Find out what their purpose is. For me, my purpose is the spiritual practice of non-judgment. I do that by bringing relief and clarity to others without the stigma and labeling that comes with psychotherapy. If you resonate with their deep purpose, you’ve found a potential match.
Question #2. What is your philosophy of right and wrong?
No matter what your Listener’s core beliefs, she must have a clear philosophy on ethical relativism. The answer to look for would be “there is no ultimate right and wrong” even if you yourself don’t believe such! This question is extremely tough on both parties and brings out a lot of sensitivities. Take your time and digest their answer. Then try to work out if this candidate is capable of letting you have your own truth, your own right and wrong. It is crucial in your process to get clarity.
Question #3. What do you believe happens when people die?
In my book, the best Listeners are practicing spiritualists who believe that death is not the end. Watch out for overly religious beliefs, like there is a physical heaven and hell that people get sorted into after death for example. Again, let me stress here that even if you believe in this, your Listener should not. Believing in an entity that stands in judgment of you now or ever does not make for an authentic Listener. Similarly, if she tells you that you are punished due to bad deeds from previous lives, it is a sign that she has judgment in her bones.
Question #4. What is the difference between a Listener and a psychologist, life coach, therapist, counselor, astrologer, energy healer, or psychic?
Your candidate has got to be clear on this. Listeners are not any of these other professionals. Psychologists, counselors and therapists have a prescribed way to make you process and rely on their stringent educational training to move you forward. A life coach lets you get to your own answers but not before they also use prescribed tools and ask you leading questions. Astrologers and psychics advise you and predict life events. Although this might bring relief, it also brings on anxiety with the concept of immutable fate. An energy healer works with your aura and positive effects are felt primarily in your body with no opportunity to express your thinking. Your Listener should know what distinguishes their profession – no judging, no labeling, no diagnosing, no telling, no asking, no predicting, no advising, no disapproving, no medicating, no questioning, no explaining and no interrupting.
Question #5. Are there any issues that are off limits to talk about?
This question is another indicator of whether your candidate has tendencies to judge. There should be absolutely no subject that is off limit. For example, I personally get asked a lot about whether I would report illegal behavior or intentions expressed to me by a client. Unlike a psychotherapist, I do not consider it an obligation to report to authorities. Many find my stand controversial and even disqualifying, which I respect as their prerogative. Part of my professional practice is to tell my clients that I have heard it all and there is no topic off limit. When I mean there is no judgment, I really mean it to the core. So if your Listener says that she will not serve particular groups of people or will not address controversial topics, she is not an ideal choice. Remember, even if you have a problem with certain people or topics, your Listener should not!
At this stage, you know what your’re looking for and have perused the answers of your candidates to those important questions. Now its time to shortlist down to 2 practitioners you see yourself working with. If you have more shortlisted, push yourself to pick 2 based on the most complete, confident and convincing answers to the questions above. You really do need to hone your selection down to 2 before the final following steps.
Test the Listening Service Protocol
With your 2 final practitioners, you will now want to explore what you would experience working with them. Most Listeners will give you a free or low-cost first session. Here, it is important to notice how they conduct themselves, how they react to what you’re revealing, and if you feel truly understood. Let’s get into some character traits that you might watch out for during your first session. You should be able to answer “YES” to these trait questions –
Trait #1. Is she really listening?
This question can be rephrased as ‘Is she really empathizing?’ As you talk to your Listener, watch for whether she laughs when you laugh and sighs when you sigh. A Listener is a mirror and should echo you. She should express the intent of feeling what you’re feeling regardless of whether the logic makes sense to her or not. For e.g. if you were to ask her, “Am I ok in feeling this way?” she should absolutely be telling you to feel your emotions completely and not make any attempt at changing your state.
Trait #2. Does she stay clear of advising you?
It is cardinal for a professional Listener to stay away from giving you her opinion or advice on your situation. Giving advice is akin to patronizing in the listening process and should be avoided at all times. As you speak to your candidate, throw in a little test question like “What would you advise me to do?” If she starts offering explanations and justifications about your situation, this constitutes a big red flag. Any kind of “I think you should do this or do that” is a no no and you should easily eliminate this candidate as your Listener. Sometimes however, you will get the urge to ask her “What the !@#$% should I do?!” The ideal response from a true Listener would be along the lines of “If a stranger came to you with this situation, what would you advise them?” She should always be lovingly throwing the question back at you. A Listener believes that you are capable of finding your own truth, answers, conclusions and closure.
Trait #3. Does she allow silence?
Awkward silences are the healing grounds for professional Listeners. If during the course of your session you decide to stop speaking and stay with your emotions, your Listener should be leaving you be. Any attempts at filling silence with questions, prompts, probing or initiating new conversation is another sign that the candidate is not comfortable with leaving you to process your thoughts. Your Listener should find it completely natural to operate periods of silence during your session. I call this ‘holding the space’. She needs to allow you the space of silence and this invariably lets you come to your best conclusions, answers or the closure you yearn for.
Tune Into Your Sixth Sense
If you’ve followed the previous steps properly, you will be feeling pretty confidant about who you want to work with. But in the rare case of confusion and indecision, this step will resolve all doubt. Selecting the practitioner you’d like to work with is about connecting with their spirit, energy and flow, rather than their years of experience or their payment plan. So here’s what you do – observe how you respond upon hearing their voice or seeing their picture. If you choose to video, observe their body language and check out how long they can sit still for. The ability to keep still, listen with intent and meditate on what you are saying is significant. Your intuition and natural bodily response will tell you who the right Listener is.
Create a Clear Contract
Once you have chosen the one practitioner you want as your Listener, the last step is to iron out the details of your association. This is the only time you and your Listener will have two-way communication. Get clear on the terms of your agreement. Without this clarity, you will run the risk of jeopardizing your healing experience. The last thing you want is for an administrative or financial misunderstanding to rear its head while you are already deep in a regular schedule. You also need to express your expectations during your sessions loud and clear before you start. For example, you might ask her to start each session in a ritualistic way every time, or tell her how you expect an acknowledgement of your revelations so that you know you are being heard correctly.
Hope this article has given you the tools to take control of your healing journey and the confidence to begin the search for your Listener!
Summary of Article
The Big Ideas
01. Stick to one
Trying out many practitioners will affect your motivation to get the relief and clarity you deserve. So find the right one the first time and stick with her.
02. Own Truth
She should let you have your own truth, your own right and wrong. In no way should she be influencing you into her way of thinking, belief system or life view.
Your Listener should know what distinguishes her profession from therapists, life coaches, psychologists, psychiatrists, energy healers or psychics.
Selecting a Listener to work with is ultimately about who your soul resonates with. Unlike other professionals, an authentic listener is your mirror, your keeper of secrets, your space holder. She acts like your personal diary who does not advise or talk back. She plays the role of your hidden consciousness and gives you access to your higher awareness. So it is so important that she accept all of you in whatever state you’re in or choose to be. Choose her wisely by examining her beliefs, methods and ability for stillness.
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Mubeena is the Founder of Listen Truly, helping adults get the clarity and relief they deserve without psychotherapy. She started working as a professional listener out of her need for spiritual growth and her desire to practice non-judgment. If you would like to learn more, sign up for a free orientation session.