…listener. I know this. I understand this. I’ve tried to change this. It’s not that I don’t hear what people are saying. I do, but most of the time I’m processing conversations fast. I process them, file them, and then later, when I’m alone, I replay conversations, often questioning things I might’ve made comments on or understood better if I could’ve responded differently. (This is, afterall, an after-the-fact sort of world; I live for post-communication (and, for the record, I replay everything in my head, no matter what it is)). What kind of a listener does this make me? I think I’ve tried to overcompensate lately, but instead of being a better listener I’ve become a condescending listener. So, even though I’ve tried simply to listen and not make hasty comments, this doesn’t necessarily make me a better listener. What is it then that makes a good listener?
What makes a good listener? Being interested in what the other person has to say; so interested you forget about yourself. Lots of related things: curiosity; wanting to understand; a complete lack of ego; those kinds of things. Most of the things the article mentions help, but they’re at a more superficial level—if you practise them, you do listen better, but if they’re not grounded in that overwhelming interest, the listening never seems quite genuine and people are extremely good at detecting that. So how do become fascinated with what someone has to say; how do you develop that interest? I don’t know. Maybe you just decide to be fascinated?
That’s my guess, based on being lucky enough to know some wonderful listeners, and for what it’s worth.
Thanks Pete. It’s worth lots! 🙂