Listening is a unique thing.
It is also very different thing than hearing.
Hearing is just hearing. “I hear you” simply means you’ve noticed someone else trying to communicate to you. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re actually getting – or have gotten – the communication.
Listening is a deep art. It is the ability to go beyond just the audio processing, and even more so to go beyond that little voice in your head that’s continually commenting on everything they’re saying. Because listening more to the little voice commentary than to the actual speaker is definitively not actually listening. Nor is that all too familiar grabbing on to that perfect little point you should say next as soon as they stop talking so there’s no point in what more they’re saying, you know what YOU want to say.
Listening goes beyond resisting. Listening goes beyond judgement.
Listening is getting the communication, without adding or subtracting anything.
Truly deep listening gets all the communication including all the context that surrounds it.
Listening causes completion. People who’ve been truly listened to don’t need to repeat themselves.
Listening creates dialogue. People who’ve been truly listened to will often ask, “What do you think?”
Listening creates openings. People who’ve been truly listened to find themselves grounded and ready to engage with “what’s next?”
When we are listened to, we feel connected. Franticness wanes, exigency fades, and peacefulness arrives.
Once listened to, something new is possible.
Listening is a unique thing, an art that takes development and learning.
And it is an art most definitively worth attending to.