Listening may be the most useful and least utilized means we have for knowing what to do next in
relationships, work, or any complex and challenging situation.
An athlete learns to listen to her body to know how hard and long to train. A singer learns to listen to
sensations in his body that keep him in tune (but he doesn’t, if he is well trained, use his ears, because that kind of listening can actually throw him off pitch).
Skillful listening is something learned. The capacity to listen is inborn; the ability to do it well must be developed.
Unless you practice listening with intention and focus, you are probably missing vital information
every day, information that you could use to clarify your goals, simplify your options, empower your choices, and become closer to your partner.
Listen by practicing how not to expect. No, that is not a misprint. Too often, someone tunes out their partner, because they think they know what will be said. After all, I’ve heard it a thousand times. Right? But then, you also miss important changes in feelings, thoughts and attitudes. And are accused of not listening. Well, you weren’t.
This week, listen carefully to something different each day. Share your choice with a spouse, co-worker, or friend, and spend a few moments together debriefing at the end of each day. Here are some things you can listen to:
- Your body
- A troublesome colleague
- A child
- A friend
- Your heart
- Your spouse or partner.
Listening creates connection and facilitates understanding.
Copyright 2012 by Joseph Dragun