Monday, February 21, 2005

We listen but do we REALLY hear?

“A good listener tries to understand thoroughly what the other person is saying.

In the end he may disagree sharply but before he disagrees, he wants to know exactly what it is he is disagreeing with."

Kenneth A Wells, "Guide to Good Leadership."

Kenneth Wells uses the male emphasis - I can forgive that - because his words are so powerful.

Really great listeners probably master this skill early in their lives.

For most of us it takes a long time to really learn how to listen.

I believe judgements often cloud our listening.

However hard we try our minds are often already made up before we start to listen I fear.

It is refreshing and wonderful to meet someone who will not allow their judgement or prejudices to influence what they are hearing from you.

I guess the most celebrated people with this ability include Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa and Nelson Mandela (in later life).

It is a quality possessed by many people who are not famous - at present!!. Annie is one. I know only a few others.

It is an aspiration of mine to become a better and more intent listener. I know I am sometimes impatient as a listener.

Let’s celebrate the Kenneth Wells quotation and maybe we can all try to learn from it.


Rocky said...

I recently read a quote that stated that we need to learn to be interested rather than be interesting. i think that kind of goes along with your point here. we have to learn to be truly interested in what people have to say. Who knows? It might be important. They may have something to say that is worthwhile. Sometimes we have to get past our agendas and hear what others are thinking. I am trying to hear more and speak less. I tend to stay out of trouble that way.

Trevor Gay said...

You are right Rocky - everyone has something interesting to say.

I think perhaps the greatest attribute of the very best communicators is that of listening.