What kind of listener do you want to be?

Have you ever wondered, what on earth the person you’re speaking with, just heard you say, going by their response? Almost convinced they’ve begun another conversation without letting you know.

I have noticed over the years this happens and have come to the conclusion, more often than not, it’s about what the listener ‘made it mean’ (heard through their filters), rather than actually what was said. In other words, what it meant to them.

Incredibly, our mind filters through stored experiences and memories, good or not so good. Did you know we generalize, distort and delete information? We then respond accordingly, regardless of the meaning intended by the communicator. In fact, quite obliviously at times.

Then there are the people who appear to be listening and yet have not heard one word, usually because their mind is on another matter. Unless they’re being polite (they think) and act interested.

One day I decided to be a good listener when I realized how much I missed, whilst not being fully focused. Now I do whatever it takes to make the most of opportunities to hear well. Putting everything aside, literally and figuratively, to focus on what is being said.

Not only because I want to value the person who is taking the time to tell me something, but also to notice the quality of communication if I am present, consciously.

I have found I actually hear so much more when I am neutral, open and engaged in what is being said.

Do you think you’re listening but not hearing or vice versa? How well do you listen?

Most of us have asked one or all of these questions, if not about ourselves, perhaps of someone else.

Something to think about.

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