‘Man's inability to communicate is a result of his failure to listen effectively.’ ~ Carl Rogers
A chain email caused a great deal of distress to a dear friend of mine this week, which made me think a lot about the difference between listening and hearing.
We all listen, but do we actually hear?! Do we allow a space for the words we are listening to filter through and become a part of a hearing process?
What do you listen to when you hear?
Listening is very much one way process, and in many cases it is catapulted from the 'spinal cord' responses;-)! It is nothing, unless it is paired with Hearing. It is one sided communication that noone benefits from, and yet it can cause a great deal of damage, as was the case with my friend.
Hearing on the other hand can be a very creative, interactive process and includes not only auditory perception, but also an exciting mix of cognitive and affective processes. Hearing helps both those who send messages and those that receive (hear) them to better understand themselves.
Hearing dissolves over-subjectivity and contributes to a flexibility in communication.
Easier said than done, I hear you say! How do we transition from listening to hearing, or better yet, how do we incorporate listening into hearing? Frankly, I haven't got a one-size-fits-all response. However, I can share a tried and tested method that works with me.
During any conversation, start by asking yourself: 'Am I just listening or am I hearing?' If you feel light, you'll know you are onto a good thing!
Sending you oceans of love and wishing you a light weekend!
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