(Originally posted at Absolution Mediation)
From a very young age, we tell our children to listen. As we grow older and wiser, we are continually told to listen. While we all know what the word ‘listen’ means, how often do we actually stop and listen?
In the past we have talked about listening (Are you listening with your whole body?) but I would like to focus on one part of active/deep listening. You ready?
That’s right. Thinking. While you are talking, am I thinking of a response? I was teaching a course the about a month ago and was talking about active listening and as someone was asking me a lengthy question, my mind was not present.
It was thinking:
What time is it? Are we on track? How much material do we have left? I wonder if it’s cold out. How can I respond appropriately to this question?
When the man got his question out (it was about different ways to approach active listening) I had to confess what was happening through my mind while he was talking. Sound familiar?
If we are thinking of a response to give the other person while they are talking, are we really listening? Are we catching all that they are saying? Are we understanding the message behind what they are saying?
The answer is NO. We are not fully listening. Try clearing your mind and fully listening to the people around you today. Let me know how it works for you by sending me a tweet at @jasondyk or leaving a comment here!