I was aware that teammates approached these meetings with hidden interests; they indulged in game-playing; and I knew that people were dishonest and not open. The meetings were bad enough but then there was alot of moaning afterwards. The usual people said the usual things, "I would improve that idea, but I would not say". "I couldn't be bothered making a suggestion".
I realised to my amazement that I could hear what my teammates were thinking as well as what they were saying. As I concentrated still harder, I found that I could actually hear what they were thinking about at the same time as they were talking among themselves. What surprised me even more than the acquisition of this strange power was that I could discovered that what people were talking about was not really what they was in their minds. They were making unclear reservations. They were unsupporting views which they thought might be not popular. They were also not contributing their very new insights. They were not willing to volunteer their new ideas.
I found it impossible not to respond to my new knowledge. So I started making gentle interventions, based more on what I could hear my colleagues thinking than on what I could hear them saying. "So, Victor are you really saying ." "Lucy, do you really think that …" "Tommy, have you got a better idea on how we could take this forward?" I was aware that my colleagues were not settled by how insightful were these new interventions. They started looking at me mystified. In truth, I felt rather proud of my newly-acquired talent.
Emboldened then, I forgot my usual misery in taking part in such meetings and began making my own comments . However, I became aware that some of my teammates were looking at me quizzically. Some had a gentle smile playing on their lips. Gradually did it dawn on me. I could hear my thoughts and I was not really saying what I was thinking.
As the meeting Went on, I became aware of several changes to the style and tone of the event. It was very clear to me now that each member of the meeting started learning how to listen the thoughts and ideas of all the other members and this was changing how they interacted with each other. The game playing started to diminish and people spoke more directl. Views became better understood by every member and the atmosphere became more friendly, open and trusting.
The meeting was finally over. As teammates left the room, I found that I could still hear what they had in their minds. "That was the best of all meetings we have ever had." "All meetings should have been like that." "In future, I shall say what I think".