There's a huge difference between seeing and observing, hearing and listening.
|Random pic cos I couldn't find anything related to the topic|
It takes a conscious effort - a shift in our focus - to observe and listen without judging or reacting.
As we move through our day, we begin to look up/out from our inner chatter. I even find the physical exercise of straightening up and making myself look around with the intention of shifting focus makes a difference.
When we bring this into communication, we don't just see and hear someone, we observe and listen to them without judging. This is the essence of communication.
It's all about shifting our focus from the never ending inner rambling of the mind and taking in the bigger reality around us, extending into our focussed interactions. When we communicate with someone we shift from trying to talk to them, to hearing them without judgement.
So much of our communication is reactionary, rather than responsive - meaning that we have only heard and seen things in a way that triggers a reaction in us, rather than listened and observed with empathy and the goal of understanding, leading to a response that empowers, challenges and respects the value of the other.
It takes effort though, and often we are so caught up in our own reactions that we aren't even aware of what we are doing - or not doing. I often get into trouble, especially online, when I don't make the effort. And I see it so often in others, when try as I may to communicate clearly, they are too busy reacting from their inner dialogue and eagerness to judge and justify.
Lets all try to listen. Ask questions, draw out the real issues. Bypass the rhetoric and clichés. Challenge biases and paradigms, but most of all, hear each others hearts.
And here's the BIG one: don't be afraid of being wrong!