The Practice of Deep Listening

Can you hear me now? Ah, the cry of the modern age.

Today we will strive to go beyond the ability to hear to gain the ability to listen … truly listen.

I have struggled with this over time: Often I am thinking of the next thing I want to say rather than listening to the person in front of me. I also have a bad habit of finishing the sentences of people I know well when I want them to hurry it up a little.

Working on deep listening is hard. Rather than reacting to a person’s words with the intent to fix their problem … or worse, fix them, we are listening to understand.

One tip I recently received from a class I am taking on family dynamics is interesting: Ask three good questions to the person before you make a statement.

I haven’t been able to make it past one semi-good question yet. But I am going to spend at least the week working on it. I know that trying to fix people … particularly family members … is one of my least charming character traits. And it’s exhausting and unappreciated. So I will work on my three questions and just listening to understand.

What was that you said?

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