Friday, January 14, 2011

The Art of Listening

*Disclaimer* I do not pretend to be a great listener or to be the best listener of all time. I am not a professional in this subject at all but I have been doing alot of thinking after my class today.

I was in my public speaking class (yes I know public speaking and I am talking a listening just read) this class is being taught by Ned on of my favorite teachers thus far that always seems to challenge, offend and entertain his class so far. He made a few amazing points today one of his first one is that he acknowledge that HEARING is NOT LISTENING. That those are two completely different things. He describe that hearing is just having vibrations that bounce off your ears while listing is this, active cognitive engagement and meaning-making. Often times in this society we find that we just hear the people around us. We are constantly surrounded by distractions weather is be facebook, our phone or as simple as the person next to us we are consumed by distractions. It is amazing that we can even carry a conversation sometimes. I am at fault here way to often that in the middle of a conversation I will pull out my phone or turn on some music or end up checking out my facebook.

So what is the actually difference between Hearing and Listening. I talked a little bit about that about but hearing is so surface level it is when you pass by someone ask them how they are doing and then let it go nothing more. Hearing is often on the same level of just surface level talking. When there is no deeper engagement of any level then you are just hearing the people around you instead of listening. Listening is more then just hearing words it means also engaging on a deeper level. When with your friends you need to listen to what is going on instead of just hearing out their day, you need to listen to what is really going on and how there feel any such. This sort of leads into the next thing I wanted to talk about which is friends and listening. If you got the time think about your friends how many of them actually listen to you and how many do you actually listen too? Sure the initial reaction is going to be ALL of them of course I listen to everyone because I am the perfect person. Think about it for a bit about all your friends how many of them do you actually listen to and actively speak into there life or what ones do you just hear?

There is another thing about listening that Ned talked about which is the overt message verse the covert message. When you talk to someone there is usually not always but two things that are going on they tell you one thing and mean something deeper or they say something and mean something completely different. Ned talked about this within his speech about what is the deeper meaning behind the message. He sat there and after a bit explained that the reason he talked about listening is because of the importance between listening and you! Listening is one of those things that if you listen to the people around you, you gain knowledge, you gain understand and gain respect of the people around you. Listening can take alot of different forms but if you listen to the people around you especially those who are older it can make a huge difference in your life. Take the time today to listen to your friends around you and see what you can learn.

Goodbye for now,
Christian Sawka

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