Sunday, February 7, 2010

Effective Listening

I quote from M. Scott Peck, MD:

An essential part of true listening is the discipline of bracketing, the temporary giving up or setting aside of one's own prejudices, frames of reference and desires so as to experience as far as possible the speaker's world from the inside, step in inside his or her shoes. This unification of speaker and listener is actually and extension and enlargement of ourselves, and new knowledge is always gained from this. Moreover, since true listening involves bracketing, a setting aside of the self, it also temporarily involves a total acceptance of the other. Sensing this acceptance, the speaker will fell less and less vulnerable and more and more inclined to open up the inner recesses of his or her mind to the listener.

Effective listening means that you must first accept what is being said and not form your own opinions until the person has conveyed their intent.

Easy to say, difficult to execute. There's no easy way to do this other by making a significant conscious effort and trying to put yourself in the speaker's shoes. No other easy way I can think of.

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