May 19, 2015

Who are you listening to?

"Seek first to understand and then to be understood". - Consider how we really listen to eachother?

Posted by: ilanh


"Most people don't listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply" ~ Stephen Covey


The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood.  The best way to understand people is to listen to them, but when you ask yourself the questions; how do I listen and who am I listening to most of the time, you may find that the answer surprises you.

We are always listening to ourselves, also known as internal dialogue. We listen for what we agree with, what we disagree with, if we like what is being said or not, we are continually interpreting the speakers words based purely on our own experiences, beliefs and opinions.  There is nothing wrong with this but if we truly want to understand someone we need to practice a different type of listening.

Focussed Listening is when you are fully attentive and focussed on what the speaker is saying, this type of listening takes effort and is not done every day.

So how can you do this?

  • The first step is self –awareness: Begin by noticing and recognising how your own thoughts, beliefs and assumptions interrupt your listening and then decide to practice focussed listening by suspending judgement and opinion and being fully present to the speaker.
  • Initially you may find this quite challenging but each time you notice yourself, (your own thoughts) 'getting in the way' you can practice bringing your full attention back to the speaker.


If there is someone in your life that you really want to understand then remember that you can by giving them the space to speak and the gift of true listening.

With positivity and love,


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