thoughts on listening

If I think about listening, am I really listening? I think not. However, so, here are some notes from a seminar I co-lead in the UK (with Fiona) about listening. I listened to others; take notes from there words (and later myself) and captured them here-but without my thoughts after. These notes have been captured from their immediate listening moments.

Listening seminar notes September 2014
Theses notes are in bullet form with a summary/analysis at the end of the document:
Questions asked:
• How do you feel when someone says to you ‘I know how you feel?’
• Possible exercise to practice listening? Ask yourself: what are you hearing right now (when sitting in a room) siting a tube?
• What are you listening to?
• If you are not listened to, how do you feel?
• If you are listened to, how do you feel?
• How do you know when someone is listening to you?
• How do you feel when you are interrupted?
• What makes good listening?
• What makes poor listening?
• How do people learn to speak? As they are spoken to.
• How do people learn to listen? As they are listened to.
Quotes and Listening Seminar thoughts

• ‘I was stuck by how much I wanted to interrupt/respond.’
• I didn’t know fully when I started to speak where I was going.’ Therefore, if we interrupt to comment/respond then the speaker’s flow is changed
• Mirror back, reflect back to the speaker what they said.
• Don’t offer ‘solutions’ or fixes. Just listen
• Watch speaker’s body language and yours
• Don’t do other tasks when listening. I.e. phone; email… Scott Peck ’you cannot truly listen to anyone while doing something else.
• Hearing is passive, happens all the time. Listening is active; you have to work at it; be conscious of it
• “If we were meant to talk more than listen, we would have two mouths and one ear.” Mark Twain

Summary: What makes good listening?

• Intentionality
• Active/good listening is about listening to understand the speaker
• keep eye contact
• Mirror back what they have said to you in a summary type form
• When people speak, listen emotionally, intellectually-completely-perhaps pray for them at moments you are moved as you listen for understanding

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