On the Importance of Listening
Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
As a literacy specialist, I so love the fact that the English/Language Arts Standards include, Reading, Writing, Language, and Speaking and Listening. However, I am always amazed by the amount of “speaking” and the lack of “listening” found in daily discourse.
Calm, quiet, rational – it’s not about the loudest voice. It’s also not about “Who talks the most?” and have they just worn down the listener who really is only listening with one ear? Or is listening and multi-tasking? Is that really listening? What should one really be listening for?
Are speaking and listening two sides of the same coin?
Is a monologue really communication? How important is speaking if there is no listener? And the flip side: Can there be communication if there is only a listener who never speaks? Does a “dialogue” always mean that the speaker and the listener are both equally invested in the communication?
Which of these quotes fits your schema about communication?
- “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” Peter Drucker
- “Silence is only frightening to people who are compulsively verbalizing”. William S. Burroughs
- “Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.” Rollo May
- “To communicate through silence is a link between the thoughts of man.” Marcel Marceau
Why is communication hard?
So why does “communication” break down? Why is it hard to convey a precise meaning in words, coupled with our actions and emotions? Is it complex or as simple as this quote?
What message do you communicate?
Do your actions speak louder than your words?
When do you REALLY listen?
o5.13.14 Check out Julieanne’s post about a student conference. This was totally about listening to understand!