I know you don’t want to become a horrible listener. You want to dial in to others, to show them you have their backs. Fortunately, there’s a virtuous cycle that is the opposite of the Cycle of Absence.

This cycle starts with inner stillness. It’s that ability pro listeners have to block out the inner and outer noise, to cultivate quiet on the inside no matter what’s happening on the outside. Pros add a deep sense of care for the person who is speaking, for the work we’re all doing together, and for their own characters. When you care that deeply, it helps you get still. And that gives you space to care even more.

Stillness creates space for care. Care is the soil where more stillness can grow. It’s a Cycle of Presence.

That’s where listening starts.

Be bright