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The Best Listener at Work

How to Become a Better Listener at Work | Arc Integrated

You may wonder why being a good listener at work is really valuable.  However, if you experiment with improving your workplace listening skills, you will see changes.   In the fast past, high demand jobs so many of us have, really good listening may be something of a novelty.  This may because of the ever-impending deadlines, the many distractions we have or the workplace stress.  If you commit to being the best listener at work, you may notice that some of these challenges shift.

So how might listening skills impact your work place experience?  Well, consider your experience now.  How well do you feel heard at work?  What do you notice about people how are really present with you when communicating vs. those that are anxious to move to the next “to do”?  I would imagine that when someone is really present with you that it is easier to talk to them, you may feel more connected or more at ease. What if you were that person for everyone else?  How might this impact your workplace experience if people knew that when they spoke to you, that they could count on you to really pay attention?

Particularly if you are a leader, really good listening skills go a long way.   Being able to connect, understand and communicate effectively with your employees is a crucial component of an effective leader.   According to a study in The Journal of Occupational Health, it was found that… “psychological stress reactions were lower in subordinates who worked under supervisors with high listening skill, while no statistically difference was observed among older subordinates.” 

So if we know that our listening skills have an impact on our overall work stress, it seems like a great advantage for us to actively improve these skills.  Below you’ll find three tips to improve your listening skills

1.) Offer more clarity

Repeating something back to someone in the way that you heard it will help to reduce miscommunication.  Repeating a statement also offers the opportunity for this person to add additional clarification if necessary.  This way of “active listening” ensures that this person is being understood correctly and shows them that you are paying attention.

2.) Focus

Sometimes we can get caught up in how we are going to respond to something.  Thinking of what to say next reduces our ability to listen to what someone is saying.  Attending to what someone is saying without focusing on how to respond will create stronger communication.  Remain focused on the present moment and really digesting what it is that someone is communicating. 

3.) Breath

Often times at the workplace we are moving a million miles a minute, which reduces our ability to take in information in any given moment.  Taking a few moments to breath as you speak with someone will help you to be more present and process what they are saying more effectively.  Before you speak or when you are feeling overwhelmed, stop and take a deep breath.  This may sound trivial but can do wonders for not only stress but your ability to communicate and listen effectively. 

After you’ve had the opportunity to put these behaviors to the test, I would invite you to make a comment below.   I would suggest that in order to notice results you may have to practice one or all three for at least four times a week for three weeks.   After you’ve practiced, consider answering the following questions –

How did they work if they did at all? 

What did you learn?  

How long did you practice each new behavior?  



P.S. If you want to learn more about how to improve your listening skills at work, in order increase influence, engagement and build effective relationships, we can help.  Schedule a free consult today to see if are a fit to work together


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Mind-Body Approach to Depression and Anxiety


Mind-Body Approach to Depression and Anxiety

Mind-Body Approach to Depression and Anxiety

In my experience in working with individuals dealing with depression and anxiety or both, there has been a consistency I have seen.   I hesitate to use the term “always” but certainly often, taking a mind-body approach to depression and anxiety seems to yield positive results, in my experience.   In my own life I have found this to be true also.  I have always felt better when exploring challenges from multiple lenses.  This is not necessarily surprising that long lasting change would be achieved through tackling multiple components of the human experience.

I’m certainly not alone in this belief either.  According to an article in The Journal of Palliative Medicine, it was found that a multi-modal treatment approach including mindfulness meditation, yoga movement and breathing exercise helped to reduce anxiety and depression in Japanese cancer patients.   In addition, in The Canadian Journal of Psychotherapy there was a study showing the efficacy of using Yoga as a complimentary treatment to psychotherapy in treating depression and anxiety.  These are just a couple of examples of how a mind-body approach can be an effective treatment philosophy.

4 Tips for a Mind-Body Approach to Depression and Anxiety

Mind your body We now have extensive research to show how lifestyle has such a great impact on our body and mind.  When considering how to care for your body and mind, the basic tenants remain – eat whole foods, exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep.  If someone is experiencing anxiety and depression these lifestyle factors may be harder to work towards. However, when you follow these principles often times there is symptom reduction.  For more information on nutrition, wellness and some great insight into mindset I recommend – The Model Health Show.


Talk to someone – If someone is having a particularly hard time it may be valuable to call a therapist or doctor for consult. If you already have a therapist, there may be value in seeing them more regularly during more challenging times.


Have compassion – Be patient and have compassion with yourself. During times of depression and anxiety this may be difficult. Remember that there are resources available to you.  Remaining present, compassionate and patient when working towards reducing symptoms is an important strategy.   One way to exercise compassion is doing an exercise in gratitude.


Self-Care – Engaging in some sort of regular practice is very important.  This practice can be different for everyone.  However, usually the focus of the practice is related to self-development.  Self-care could be related to physical fitness, meditation, time with loved ones, reflection, intention or any combination of activities that help to de-stress or remain present.

What mind-body practices have you found to be effective in your life?

Be well!



Mind and Body Connection: Healthy Body Healthy Mind


Body Mind Connection Healthy Body Healthy Mind

When I was in graduate school one of the concentrations I had was called Body Centered Therapy.  This program is described as “a program designed to prepare students with an understanding of creative and expressive processes within the context of the mind and body connection”.   I look back on my experience in graduate school fondly and continue to learn more and more about this idea of body and mind connectivity.  This is a large topic with lots of debate and areas of discussion.  I am writing this article as a short introduction to this idea, with some examples of how body and mind are connected.

In my professional experience there certainly seems to be a connection between an individual’s physical experience and emotional well-being.  For example, the article HERE points to the fact that there may be a physical component related to the onset of depression, but this generally speaking is not a new finding.  Research has been connecting physical experience with mental health issues for many years. For example, this article by the National Institute of Mental Health reviews some of the conclusions related to diabetes and depression.  A great map of physical experiences brought on by depression can be found HERE.  There are often connectivity examples between depression or anxiety and physical symptoms resulting from them.  We commonly understand that anxiety and depression can bring on physical symptoms of stomach ache, sweating, headache or a number of other symptoms.

It seems that the more we understand about connectivity between experience, thought, behavior and emotion, the more we may gravitate towards a mind and body connection paradigm.  Popular culture tends to separate body and mind, but many believe this is shifting.  Depression is a condition that impacts how we feel, think and act (all involving the mind).  However, emotions like sadness or worthlessness, found in depression, can bring on real physical symptoms such as pain or nausea.  In this way, depression is present in both the body and mind.  For another example of mind and body connectivity, consider this article on chronic illness and depression.

There have been many theories posed as to the cause of depression, anxiety, panic disorder and other mental health challenges.  However, regardless of the cause, it seems that an overwhelming number of people respond well to lifestyle change.  In my personal and professional experience, I see that people often respond well to lifestyle changes such as increased exercise and improved nutrition. I think that this strengthens the argument even more that there is a definite connection between body and mind.

So what does one do with all of this information about the body and mind connection?  It seems that one way to actively incorporate the belief that there is truly a cross over between our body and mind is to do just that: change our belief.  One way of changing our belief is to change how we respond.  When we are faced with different experiences we may begin to ask how is this impacting both body and mind.

The mind and body connection is certainly not just seen in mental health issues like depression or anxiety.  We see examples of body/mind connection in our everyday lives, if we know where to look.  The next time you are faced with a really challenging decision, consider how your body responds.  Often times our body can give us clues about decisions to make or hunches about directions to take, we just have to learn to listen.  Being more aware of our whole experience in any given situation will bring on more understanding, and more of an integration of body and mind.

Stay Healthy,