We have ears. They are our hearing receptors, however, they don’t guarantee listening. When in a conflict, listening requires us to be open to patiently orally processing information, first, without judgment, then with the desire to seek to understand. Why is this seemingly easy task often hijacked?
Listening is one of the most researched and discussed communication topics of the last century. This blog sums up many of the issues surrounding our ability to listen in this fast-paced world.
When interacting with my mom so often I found myself choosing to get triggered by what she was saying or not saying. Note the word choosing. Yes, I had the choice to emotionally react or be patient and listen. I love this quote taken from a Focus U blog post:
As simple as it sounds, listening is a skill, an art and a discipline. It is a skill that requires the listener to be attentive to the speaker and respond, empathize or just remain silent, depending on the situation.
The word that stood out for me is discipline. In communicating with my mom, I had to work on harnessing my desire to engage or give my two cents. Unfortunately, as a teacher who was commissioned to herd 25 ‘cats” for 6 hours a day, fluctuating between a structured and fluid environment, and as a nurturing personality, instinctively I try to direct or manage situations. I constantly need to remind myself to let go and respect another’s space and exploration.
Engaged listening is difficult. I don’t purport to be an expert. At 63 I’m always looking at ways of improving my listening skills. Now that my mom is gone, I’m finding new challenges in effective listening with our sons. Recently, I took Oscar Trimboli’s listening quiz. It not only confirmed what I thought were my listening weaknesses but offered constructive suggestions for improvement. I highly recommend the exercise.
Listening is a communication gift. If you take our two ears and place them together they form a heart. Take a peek at this lovely blog post: We have a choice to keep our ears wrapped or to open them and our minds fully, revealing understandings and insights from our friends and family members.
Here is an insightful link:
I urge you to take Trimboli’s quiz: