Deep Listening and Mindful Speaking – are they compatible with “Business Reality”?

When we focus deeply on another person, give them time and space to express themselves, we create the conditions that allow them to thrive, feel appreciated, be brave and ready to succeed. When we slow down even for a few minutes to rest and let our thoughts wander, not only do we feel better, but we can cope better with whatever life throws at us. 

This wisdom even started spilling into the corporate life – in the shape of occasional “coaching training” or even “mindfulness sessions”.

However, once out of the classroom, most of the inspired attendees turn back into “employees”. They say that the reality of the business world demands completely different approaches – instead of “taking time” you need to be fast, succinct, provide quick solutions, be efficient, keep all “irrelevant” thoughts and feelings to yourself.
But is this truly “the reality”? Or is it just an adopted artificial “business style”, which we picked up stupidly during the acceleration of the industrial age? On this wrong path we have turned ourselves, living beings, into just cogs in what our organisations have become - machines “that have no brain”.

How harmful this style could be to the businesses themselves?

If an employee is encouraged to come with the ready solution and never divulge a thought that is not fully formed, is just emerging and needs co-creating – it will never be co-created.
If a team are not allowed time and space to really debate an issue, exploring patiently all diverse opinions without shutting them down – no new ideas will come forward, new reality will not be reflected in the way they do business.
If managers come to a meeting under strict agendas, have to contribute within a set number of minutes on their assigned topic and are ridiculed if they take to long to think or talk – nobody will ever look outside their own silos, taking responsibility and risk beyond what is “prescribed”.
If everybody feels that to be successful you should always be “business like” – no emotions, “no nonsense” - how will they ever allow themselves to be human?

And the result of all that is the corporate world that lacks compassion, intelligence and creativity – the dead place where nothing grows, including so overvalued efficiency or profitability. In a place where there is no patience and positive intention to listen, people do not realize their true potential, loosing our only advantage over other species – and machines - deep connection to others, ability to think and innovate.