Tag Archives: active

Listening I

By Marilyn Hay

How many people truly listen well? How much more common is it to ‘hear’ what we expect to hear, or to jump in to put our own views forward rather than concentrate on what the other person is saying? Sometimes we make assumptions about what the speaker is saying, about their intentions. We color everything with our worldview, with what matters to us. If we don’t trust the boss, we won’t believe what they’re saying or we’ll think they have some hidden agenda. If we feel vulnerable, we may well perceive threats that are implied, not real. If we have something to sell, we may listen for an opening to put our ideas or goods on the table. How often do we bemoan or hear others wail, “Nobody listens to me!”

Listening takes work and effort. It takes
consciously setting aside ingrained expectations or beliefs. It
requires we take a real interest in the other person, and that we
engage in really wanting to understand what they are saying.

experience of being actively listened to is so rare that encountering a
person who listens with such focused intensity can be disconcerting. It
is an uncommon experience. When you feel you are actively being
listened to, that

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