By Dr. Marta Adelsman
Life Coach in Communication and Consciousness
(June 28, 2017)
It’s a good idea, from time to time, to take inventory of our listening motives when we’re in conversations.
Do we listen so we can one-up someone?
Do we hear with the intent of devising a better story?
A wiser perspective?
A superior knowledge?
Do we listen in order to design our response around gaining the other person’s approval?
While we listen, do we plan how we can prove someone wrong?
These listening motives may cause others to shy away from conversations with us. On the other hand, if we listen with curiosity, with the intention to find out more about a person because we have a genuine interest, others will be more likely to seek us out as conversation partners.
I like what Stephen Covey wrote in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. They’re either speaking or preparing to speak. They’re filtering everything through their own paradigms, reading their autobiography into other people’s lives.”
When we listen to understand rather than to be understood —
when we move our attention away from our own emotional or psychological needs —
we pave the way for masterful listening.
Everyone is interesting. Listen for their wisdom; hold them capable and worthy of respect. Masterful listening empowers others — and it empowers us, too!