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How Real Listening And Self-Awareness Can Change Your Life

by Chris Denney with Martin Shervington


Being able to be present, and really listening to what other people are experiencing can help build a strong personal relationship with people. The biggest thing is that ability to be there and build a good relationship with people.

Being present and observing, this is the most considerable thing.

It’s not easy to do, especially for some people who find it difficult to step away from everything that’s going on in their head and truly observe and be there for others. When you change yourself to stop being like that, you also change the nature of your relationships with people.


How Listening Changes Everything

The ability to listen is what really helps people to have a deep conversation filled with understanding, because conversations where you are not listening are pretty superficial.

Truly, the word “listening” doesn’t do it justice, because you are literally taking in what the other person does and says. You are getting the meaning behind their words, their body language etc.  

It’s the ability of not adding your stuff and context, and just really paying attention and listening to the person, and understanding them truly. This also works in family life, not just in corporate. Relationships can change when you listen.  They may get stronger, or move to something else or even end. Putting effort into listening changes everything.

A shift in someone’s personality when they are truly listening to people makes their relationships with others stronger. When you first learn this, you start to develop an ability to ask the important questions.

Initially, I always used to model myself of the people who taught me this. But a little time after, I started developing my own language and integrate the whole thing to make it 100% mine. Of course, I’m still influenced by those people, but I started to make it my own, and everything became a lot less orchestrated and a lot more natural.


How Self-Awareness Can Transform Your Life

I used to be on the search for the thing that will “fix” me, and I had a destructive mindset. However over the last six months, I started changing, and I have a much better understanding of why I hear or think the things I’m thinking.

One day, during a coaching class, the coach pushed a chair and asked “what is that?”. We said “it’s a chair” and he said “no, it’s not”. Understanding that everything we think and see and all the movies we’re running in our minds is just a construct.  None of it exists, and that is what changed everything.

Today, I find myself a lot more calm and present. It is true that I can’t stop myself from thinking, but its effect on me is a lot less. This helped me challenge what I thought was my personality.


In the past, I wouldn’t have described myself as a social person. But now, after coaching, I can understand what that’s all about, which allows me to reframe myself on becoming a more social person. It gave me the ability to understand the foundation of that picture I used to have of myself.

I ended up asking myself the questions that challenged me and made me really understand why I am what I am.

Having discovered all of this and starting to break down all of these constructs about myself, I was unsettled at the beginning.  I thought “if that’s not me, what is me?”.  Then I discovered that’s okay, not having a definition. It exposed the real me and is now helping me be happier. It does take work, because it’s much easier to slip into old habits, but it’s helpful.

I can say it’s all about practice, and having that ability of being able to tell yourself that you’re not falling into old habits and keep moving forward.

As time goes on, it gets easier.


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