About Doug Noll

Why Should You Learn to Listen Others Into Existence?

Every person has a deep need to be heard and validated. Whether its your child, a friend, or even someone you sharply disagree with, listening and validating their emotions is the most powerful and precious gift you can give. What's even better, it costs you nothing. I call this Listening Others Into Existence.

When you experience gratitude and thanks for hearing someone in a prof0und way, you want to do it again and again. You are doing deep service work and you feel great.

But it doesn't start this way. Our culture teaches us that emotions are bad. That listening is a "soft skill" not worthy of serious consideration. We learned from our parents to repress our emotions. They told us, "Big boys (or girls) don't cry." "Don't be a cry baby." "Stop crying." They told us not to feel because that's what they were taught.

How do you know this?

Maybe you are uncomfortable when someone is crying. Maybe you become seriously defensive when someone is angry. Maybe you have no clue how to console a grieving friend. Maybe you don't know what to do about a screaming child. Maybe you have a difficult and demanding boss. Maybe you avoid hard conversations. Maybe you re numb to all of your feelings because it hurts too much to go there.

You are not alone. Nearly everyone has these experiences. Yet no one talks about them. After all, emotions are taboo except under controlled situations. (It's ok to tear up at a movie if no one can see you actually feel sadness.)

As a result, we do not live in emotional safety. We are scared of emotions and are even afraid to admit to our fears.

This is the primary cause of misery, unhappiness, and despair, especially in relationships.

I know, because I lived it. I was born nearly deaf, almost blind, and crippled with two club feet. My parents decided that I had to be tough to survive. My life became one big struggle, and I learned that emotions were not safe. I couldn't cry. I couldn't feel anger or frustration. I was afraid to feel connection and happiness because I was afraid it would disappear. I beame numb to my emotions. I was very lonely. My only saving grace was an intellect that got me an Ivy League education, a law degree, and later in life a Master's Degree.

My work as a mediator and peacemaker forced me to confront human emotion straight on. After all, conflict is all about emotion. I discovered how to listen others into existence. That led me to training inmates serving life sentences how to be peacemakers in maximum security prisons and then teaching my skills at the highest levels of government in Washington, D.C.

And if you think that I might be some wussy...I'm a second degree black belt, a tai chi master, and have a half-dozen or so other major life accomplishments. Throw me into a wilderness with a knife and I will be just fine. And, I am emotionally competent. I can only pity those people who believe in the myth of the John Wayne rugged individualist. The concept is a big lie, and I don't buy it. I don't think you should either.

Today, I teach people how to listen others into existence. This is not the "active listening" crap you may have learned years ago. We both know that doesn't work. (For a deeper explanation of why "active listening" has never worked and never will read my article here). Instead, I focus on teaching emotional competency and de-escalation skills based on how our brains are hard-wired. I don't teach anything unless it is based on a solid foundation of empirical neuroscience.

If you want to learn how to listen others into existence or simply calm an upset person in seconds, you are at the right place. I suggest you start with reading some of my blogs on de-escalation and emotional competency. You can access them by clicking on the menu options at the top of the page. From there, you can visit my training page to select from a variety of online training and coaching options.

Finally, Join my email list by clicking here to get my latest articles and to get deep discounts on my training courses.

Thanks for being here. I'll see you inside.