As EFT practitioners or guides, it is important for us to listen carefully and ask the right questions. My favorite question -- is not a question! It's actually a request and it's only three words:
Tell me more.
It is amazing what happens when you simply create a space for someone to talk and be listened to. Instead of quickly filling that space with our own thoughts about what they have said, or even immediately bringing in tapping, we can simply request, "Tell me more." And then give the person the gift of really listening. It will take your tapping to a deeper level.
We are of course here to bring tapping to the problem they have. But if you take the time to really hear the other person and help them go deeper with my favorite little question, then when you do zero in to tap, you will understand things better and be more clear about what to tap for. And you will already have a deeper connection with the person you are helping. We so rarely get that gift of really being listened to.
Someone gave me a tip recently for deep listening. She said, "when you feel that urge to comment or respond from your own point of view, take a deep breath… and send that energy down inside, transforming it into presence." It works! And when I'm very present, it's easy to allow that space and honor a person's sharing with interest and curiosity. "Tell me more…. can you tell me more about that?… is there anything else?"
I once was seeking a counselor or therapist for some personal help. I identified several who looked good and contacted them, asking if I could meet with them for 15 minutes to sit down with them and see if it was a match. Those who weren't open to that were immediately off my list! I remember one therapist who seemed really warm and caring on the phone, but when we met he only listened to me for a few minutes before he started telling me what he thought the problem was! I walked out shaking my head. He didn't even know me. Another got out a sheet of paper and drew a chart and began to plug me into her system. Oh dear.
Finally I was sitting with someone who simply listened. Who didn't presume he knew more about me than I knew about myself. Who gave me the space to explore my own thoughts and feelings. I ended up spending several years with this wonderful helper, and what I experienced in receiving deep listening is one of the inspirations for my own work.
As an EFT Trainer, I have the wonderful privilege of helping people get certified in EFT and supporting them as they develop as EFT Practitioners. One of the great insecurities is, "What if I get stuck? What if I don't know what to do?" Here's my tip: use my favorite question! I literally tell clients, "you know, I'm not sure where to go next or what to tap for. Can you just tell me a little bit more about ___?"
In recent sessions, a person who was upset with her sister for taking her for granted… discovered that her real pain was feeling disconnected from her sister. A person who had been indignant at a co-worker's comment… discovered that her real issue was feeling not-good-enough. Someone who was frustrated with herself for procrastinating on an important task… discovered that her true feeling was paralyzing fear of being judged and criticized. All because I requested, "tell me more." People don't know what they know. But when given the attention of a listening presence, they will discover more and more as they have the chance to become present for themselves and listen within themselves in the space that you hold for them.
A related tip is one I've picked up from Terry Gross of NPR's Fresh Air. She is the best interviewer! What she brings out of her guests is amazing and she often does it with one simple question, "What's it like for you to…" And the question is based on the careful listening she has done so far. Such questions as, "what's it like for you to play a role in this film that is so different from your real personality?" Or, "what was it like for you to be a reporter in that war zone, witnessing those traumatic things you've written about?" This is another great way to open the door for them to tell you more.
The Keys Are Within
It is one of my deepest beliefs that the keys to our healing are within each of us. When we tap for an issue, we are helping those truths emerge. Tapping itself can be a form of deep listening, don't you think? I know tapping stirs things up. After a tapping round, it's great to ask, "What's coming up?" And then, instead of immediately tapping for what came up, try allowing a little more space. "Anything else?" Or, "I wonder what that's about. Can you say some more about it?"
Or, very simply, "Tell me more."
Betty Moore-Hafter is an EFT International Accredited Certified EFT Master Trainer of Trainers and Advanced Practitioner offering EFT Level 1-2 and Level 3 Trainings several times a year as well as mentoring for practitioner candidates. She offers EFT sessions by phone and by Skype, as well as in person at her Burlington, Vermont office. Find out more at www.CreativeEFT.com. She also offers a special Mentoring and Certification program at www.EmotionalFreedomMastery.com.
From the EFTfree Archives, which are now a part of EFT International International.
Originally published on Jun 29, 2014.