Posts tagged ‘Listening’

February 26, 2017

Pardon me; may I whisper something in your ear?

by Rod Smith

A conversation means we both speak. You speak, I listen; I speak, you listen. We take turns. We build on what each of us has said. We ask questions related to content already shared. It’s really quite simple.

Appearing to listen while you are really waiting to speak is not listening.

The split-second you decide you know what I am going to say or think you have heard it all before is when you stopped hearing.

When I am talking and your eye contact is with your phone you are not listening. And, no, this is not the new form of multitasking. Listening takes focus and respect.

When I tell you something, respond to what I have said. Following what I’ve said with your bigger, better story, related or unrelated, reduces conversations to competitions.

Unless you are genuinely affirming people we both know I’d suggest we leave all others out of our conversation.

Our routine one-liners and well-worn war stories serve as shields. If we are really going to talk we either have to get them out of the way early on in our dialogue or we have to agree to focus on content neither of us has shared with each other before.

January 4, 2008

For “new” teenagers….

by Rod Smith

The advocates for understanding and listening to young people are many. This is usually a good thing – but alas – it appears to have become somewhat of a preoccupation of areas of mental health. Far less is promoted regarding the reverse: the importance of young people listening to, and understanding adults, parents in particular.

In my opinion there’s a lot more to be gained when young people work at understanding and listening to adults, than is to be gained from the seemingly excessive focus on the reverse.

Of course, it is really helpful when both constituencies work at understanding each other.

Listening to, and understanding adults, will usually have a lot more to offer young people than young people have to offer through being understood or heard.

While you, a young teenager, may not have spent enormous amounts of time trying to understand your parents, some effort expended in this direction will pay you rich dividends. Your parents? lives did not begin with your birth. Yours did. Take time to discover what and who they were before you were born. This will do wonders for all.