Further Reflections of Listening

Listening is my new theme. I want to talk about it over and over again because nobody is listening.

Another day at work, another collaboration forum, another workshop and once again voices speaking out, sharing their wisdom, their expertise from the day to day grind of doing their jobs; voices who have become weary over the years from a lack of being heard.

What does it take to listen?

Do I listen?   Sometimes I listen more than others. Sometimes I talk over people.

Are there 10 points that I can state with confidence that will position me as an expert on listening?

I am sure many have already done this. After all it’s the most popular method for getting yourself heard online! But does anyone really listen?

Maybe questions are better than numeric truisms!

Is listening the opposite of talking? Is listening a skill or a mindset? Should we just take turns? Pass round an invisible talking stick? Is lack of listening the result of individual inadequacy (we love pointing the finger at individuals) or is it a cultural norm?

I am sure there are lots of experts out there who will provide me with answers and I welcome them! .

At the moment my research is “subjective”. This is what I have been considering (in bullet points of course J):

  • When I talk over others, it is because I have stopped hearing them and am listening to myself.
  • When I don’t agree, my listening reduces to “taking turns”. Your turn, then my turn then…and that’s on a good day!
  • Sometimes I am sooo excited at what others have said, I don’t wait to join in.
  • Sometimes my silence is not listening but “holding my breath” and enduring

I am sure others have more to add to the list

The only thing I know is that listening is something I have to bring awareness to. I know when I am listening, I slow myself down, I am conscious of the other and simultaneously of myself, of what is between us, our common humanity…

Now I sound like a cliché