“Listening for a change” — there’s a double entendre there.
If people started listening rather than always trying to get in the last word, we might be surprised by the change we see.
“Our listening creates a sanctuary for the homeless parts within another person.” — Rachel Naomi Remen
“Listening is an attitude of the heart, a genuine desire to be with another which both attracts and heals.” — J. Isham
“How do I listen to others? As if everyone were my Master speaking to me His cherished last words.” — Hafiz (1320-1389, Persia) Sufi Muslim mystic
There are many ways to listen, and I’ve learned new listening skills during my visit to Gaza.
- We can listen superficially, nodding with a smile on our face, while our mind is swirling with other thoughts.
- We can listen intently, fashioning our thoughts in response before the speaker has even concluded her thoughts.
- We can listen in a patronizing sort of way, jumping to conclusions without really hearing anything.
Of course, none of the above is productive listening.
- We can listen with no agenda or other distractions on our mind.
- We can listen with an open heart and spirit, hearing both the words and the feelings that the speaker is sharing.
- 5 ways to listen better
- TED Talk — Julian Treasure — July 2011
Treasure prescribes RASA — Receive, Appreciate, Summarize, then Ask, to further explore the other person.
He appeals to all of us:
“Connect with each other. … Let’s get listening taught in schools. … Transform the world in one generation. … To a conscious Listening world. … A world of connection, a world of understanding. … A world of peace.”
* Thank you to my friends in Beyond War, Libby & Len Traubman, for helping me learn so much about the skills needed to build a world beyond war, and for the material that I have shared in this blog post.