Can you hear me?
How often do we struggle to find our voice? Why don’t we always feel heard or understood
and why don’t more people ask questions about ourselves?
This feeling of not feeling heard is not uncommon.
Listening, asking questions and hearing people is a skill learned, not something transferred
through the genes. But as a skill gained it does hold the key to many of the answers we
crave in our relationships and none more so than in the work place and particularly within
How we present ourselves is often a mirror of how we think the world sees us or wants to
see us. And that oddity emanates from a basic need for approval, a trait better left at the
school gates or the parental home but more usually one that follows us throughout our
careers. Seeking approval can make it difficult to maintain a balanced perspective of who
we are, it becomes too easy to lose confidence, choosing to inflate the qualities we see in
others whilst letting our own self limiting beliefs become exaggerated. We need help, all
of us, this stuff doesn’t just correct itself.
Yet, when we feel heard we feel validated. And as we know, validation (like approval) sits at
the heart of our sense of self- worth. And it’s difficult to grow unless we know what it is
that either validates or undermines us.
This need for awareness is best advanced through a process of reflection which is often
helped through facilitation and often involves a process that either breaks down or builds
up our view and understanding of who we are.
In deconstructing our view of self, we consciously shake off our self-limiting beliefs by
getting to the root causes of why we think, believe and behave how we do. We can then
recalibrate our right to believe in ourselves by discarding the stuff that inhibits us.
Conversely when we choose to build on the positive layers that have got us this far, we
learn to play to our strengths without worrying about the things we’re less good at. A
valuable if not joyous revelation that we don’t have to be good at everything to be great at
Both approaches help to develop a more sophisticated version of who we are, and both
demand a degree of self-analysis and lot of reflection.
In my experience the enlightened leaders (you know, the ones we most admire , or like to
quote or are proud to say we have worked for) have invested at some point in their own
reflection and self-analysis, and it will have undoubtedly involved a series of explorations
examining who they are, why they behave as they do, how they are perceived and how they
want to impact on others. And that would have involved someone listening to them,
someone asking them tough questions, someone who moved them on when they got stuck
and importantly helped them figure out what to let go of. And trust me, in this process
they will have felt validated and heard.
Through a process which simply asks the right questions, listens and understands us, we get
to discover more about ourselves, our views, assumptions, prejudices and habitual actions,
and critically we get to discard misguided beliefs and experiences that we may well have
thought served us well.
And with the inhibitions of false expectation discarded and a self-belief based on truth and
insight established we can embrace and influence the challenges of working practices,
cultures and leadership styles.
3 simple approaches that hold the key for all of us: When someone listens to us, we feel
good, when they have the interest and curiosity to ask us, we feel valued, and when they
really hear us, we feel validated. It’s a simple but effective truth that touches us all. If we
choose not to understand others by not hearing them, we can’t learn and grow ourselves.
At KiKu, we live by this simple mantra: LISTEN. ASK. HEAR.
Why don’t you speak to us to find out more and join us in our mission to change the way
people are heard, the way leaders lead, and the way people understand themselves and