Growth Tips

Conversations That Connect to the Heart and Lead to Change


Do you have some people in your life with whom it’s difficult to have a meaningful conversation? Have you noticed that telling them everything you think they need to know and do, does not usually lead to life change or deeper relationships?

Seriously, how many times have you already had that same conversation?!! Whether it is your spouse, one of your children, or someone you want to help, try telling less and listening more. The passcode to connecting to the heart is frequently not more mysterious than caring enough to listen well. There’s actually a lot of truth in the old cliché “people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

One of the ways we can powerfully connect with others is to listen deeply.

Listen with your eyes. Be fully engaged, undistracted. Listening with “caring eyes” helps to develop conversations that liberate and motivate.

Listen to their heart, go deeper. Say things like “tell me more about that” or “what else?” Coach trainer Tony Stoltzfus says, “If you listen deeply enough they will take you to their heart.”

This kind of listening is an act of unselfish love. Instead of telling your advice, you are connecting to someone’s heart. Instead of trying to fix someone, you are giving a gift of respect and honor to an important person.

Most of us have refreshed our ‘conversations stoppers’ enough times that it will require an intentional effort to make the needed changes. We have to make a decision over and over to focus on what someone else is saying instead of all the things that we want to say. While some individuals are more naturally wired for liberating listening, it is a skill we can all improve. We can:

  • Be more aware of opportunities to connect.
  • Learn how to begin the conversation.
  • Listen to understand.
  • Avoid responses that close the connection.
  • Ask questions that lead to liberating insights.

To tap into the desired motivation to avoid responses that close the connection, visualize the value of an open-hearted, authentic conversation with someone you love deeply and with whom you desire to connect. Ultimately, if you sincerely desire those “connect to the heart conversations,” liberating listening is the gift that keeps on giving.