Talk is cheap and listening is rare
Listening to ourselves, presence, living in the moment, possessing each moment as it occurs, fully absorbing through sensory input, gathering as it flows but not completely stopping to process it, are all exercises in non-judgmental attentiveness
. While my intentions in writing these listening posts
lean more toward an inner meditative form of listening, an inner presence if you will, I understand that people are expecting to find skills related to better listening and understanding others. Dave Pollard recently wrote about Sympathy, Compassion, Humility
, all elements of empathy which for assorted reasons we seem to be lacking in. I think we have lost the skills and incentives to be empathetic.
If we aren't listening to ourselves we cannot possibly be in tune with our feelings, and cannot be empathetic. In turn, sympathy, compassion and humility are lost. In fact, I tend to think that the focus on self-responsibility has become a twisted form of self-absorbtion which manifests selfishly and materially. Regard for others is one of those undesirable 'bleeding heart liberal' traits. A term that has been crafted to make us cringe.
To further this thought, University of Maine researcher, Dr. Marisue Pickering, identifies four characteristics of empathetic listeners:
l. Desire to be other-directed, rather than to project one's own
feelings and ideas onto the other.
2. Desire to be non-defensive, rather than to protect the self.
When the self is being protected, it is difficult to focus on
3. Desire to imagine the roles, perspectives, or experiences of the
other, rather than assuming they are the same as one's own.
4. Desire to listen as a receiver, not as a critic, and desire to
understand the other person rather than to achieve either agreement
from or change in that person.
Hmmm...if you'd like to know more, she identifies ten discrete skills for empathetic listening
and delves further into exercises designed to help develop true active listening. I have to wonder what our relationships would be like if the emphasis were on 'listening to ourselves and others' opposed to self-responsibility.
Our society places much more attention onCategories: listening
posted by Cyndy
the spoken side of the communication equation, but if you think
about who influences you, are they good talkers or good listeners?
As we come to understand ourselves and our relationships with
others better, we rediscover that "communication is not just saying
words; it is creating true understanding." Active listening is an
important skill in that process.