Transforming Listening

We all know that most of listening is about measuring.

When someone listens they might measure whether they agree with you or disagree with you. They might measure whether you know what you are talking about or whether you know anything at all. Sometimes they measure if they are interested in hearing what you have to say or
even if they are interested you as a person!

Measuring is not an exciting experience, and in fact can often be very draining. Many days we are exhausted at the end of the day because we have been getting measured all day long!

Listening can be a very different experience than measuring. Listening can be a visit to another culture, a look into another world filled with adventures and sweet drama. Listening can offer an ” I love you” or ” I value you ” to the speaker. We can smile while we listen and be saying your stories are fun to hear and your life is a pretty life! Listening can be an unselfish act, giving time, interest, attention, and kindness.

Here is how to change listening from measuring to visiting! When they speak, put your world to the side, and make it less important for now. Make the important thing to open your ears, your heart and your mind to receive the presence of that speaker. Practice curiosity about the words they use and the worldview they are sharing.

Taste their world, just a taste!

Oh – and remember to say “Thanks for sharing!”

About the Author
Chana Rochel Frumin is the founder/director of The Jerusalem Narrative Therapy Institute with over 30 years experience in marital and family counseling in the Jerusalem area.