“Listening is one of the foundations of society.”
~ Shane Parrish on Farnam Street
My father knew how to listen: he gave you his full attention, made eye contact, noticed the body language that added to the words you were saying, and then reiterated to make sure he understood what you had said.
Of course, you had to catch him first. He was a man on the go!
“You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.”
~ M. Scott Peck
My family has regularly heard these words from me, “I’d love to hear all about this, but I’m trying to get supper on the table. Can we talk afterwards?” Sometimes it was shortened and spoken assertively, “Not now or I’ll burn everything.” Sometimes, I did burn the food or my finger…and then they didn’t wait for my reply.
Listening is a skill we need to learn and practice. Without it relationships fall apart.
We have to take the communication in; think about the speaker’s intentions, recognize body language and context, and respond in order for it to be identified as listening.
Hearing is not the same as listening!