As a therapist, I have the honor of listening to personal stories. The life narratives that have helped shape who you are today. We all have our own personal narratives. Many people seek therapy because they want to change their story. How we think determines the way we see and how we live. Perception is a concept we explore in the therapy room. I am curious about how people view the past, live in the present and think about the future. When listening to someone’s challenges, I often ask if there is another way to look at things?
How often do we get fixed in the way we hear, think, and speak?
In his book, A Curious Mind. The Secret to a Bigger Life, Hollywood movie producer and author, Brian Glazer, shares how his trait of being curious shapes his life and success. He talks about having “curiosity conversations” and how this has infused his creativity, passion, and connectedness.
He talks about having “curiosity conversations” and how this has infused his creativity, passion, and connectedness. He calls his strongest sense of curiosity: emotional curiosity. “I want to understand what makes people tick; I want to see if I can connect a person’s attitude and personality with their work, with their challenges and accomplishments”. Glazer uses curiosity every day to experience other people’s story. To see the world in ways he might otherwise miss. In this way, curiosity almost acts as a vehicle to disrupt his own point of view. Empowering him to connect more, learn and grow.
Are you willing to visit the possibility of another way?
Krista Tippett, author and host of the podcast On Being, shares her intimate conversations with both ordinary and famous figures in her book: Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living, Like Glazer, Tippett chronicles becoming wise through the power of shared personal stories.
She attributes listening as the key component in the art of conversation. Tippett believes listening is more than being quiet while another speaks. Tippett references physician Rachael Naomi Remen’s idea of practicing “generous listening”. “Generous listening is powered by curiosity…it involves a kind of vulnerability—a willingness to be surprised, to let go of assumptions and take in ambiguity”. Here she describes the listener as someone who really wants to understand and join another. The art of conversation she describes “sharing our stories in the service of probing together who we are and who we want to be”. The conversations in therapy can help us discover new possibilities. Help us explore a new way of wondering, listening and seeing. We have the opportunity to re-frame our story through human connectedness.