Sunday, March 26, 2006

The art of listening

One of the key skills that is often lost with the pressure of time is listening - I know it is with me ! A poem that I always keep close at hand by Ralph Roughton always helps me focus:

When I ask you to listen to me and you start by giving me advice, you have not done what I asked, When I ask you to listen to me and you begin by telling me why I shouldn't feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings. When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to solve my problems, you have failed me. Listen ! All I ask is that you listen, not talk or do...just hear me. When you do something for me that I can do for myself, you contribute to my fear and inadequacy. When you accept as simple fact that I do feel what I feel, no matter how irrational then I can quit trying to convinve you and get about the business of understanding whats behind this irrational feeling.

This week take time to listen - the issue usually lies behind the words. Listening helps you to understand and listening is one of the most motivational aspects of management.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How true, I was very much of this nature, not enough time always things to deal with or sort out especially where my children were concerned. I have one child who struggles with social skills and recently both he and I had a number of counselling sessions. In these sessions we learned how to communicate more effectively. Whilst it was difficult for me to take on board at first, I was advised that I had to LISTEN rather than jump in with advice. Its been over three months since the sessions finished and every day I see so much growth in my son, his self esteem has flourished, he's become calmer, he has much more confidence - it showed me the effects of active listening and what I can do for him and others without even opening my mouth!