(English original below)
作者: Russell Bishop, July 18, 2010
哲學家暨神學家保羅‧田立克(Paul Tillich)寫道： 「愛的第一任務就是傾聽」。我的一位老師這麼說：「傾聽是關愛的最高形式之一」。想像一下，如果是出自於真愛與關懷的一次對談或甚至是一次爭執會是甚麼樣子?至少有足夠的關懷到真正地了解對方。
「說話是知識的領域，而傾聽卻是智慧的高度展現。」-- Oliver Wendell Holmes
「好的傾聽者試著了解對方的意思。最後他可能激烈反對，但因為他反對，他更想完全了解他反對的是甚麼。」-- Kenneth A. Wells
「站起來表達自己需要的是勇氣；坐下來傾聽也需要勇氣。」-- Winston Churchill
Russell Bishop 是在加州Santa Barbara的一位教育心理學家、作家、高階主管教練與管理顧問. http://www.lessonsinthekeyoflife.com Russell@lessonsinthekeyoflife.com
via ICA via Huffington Post
GFM-2 Consensus Workshop 6-7 November 2010
For detailed course information and registration call or email the ICA Taiwan
3FL, LN 5, #12, Tien Mou West Rd.
Taipei, Taiwan, ROC 111
Are You Listening Or Just Reloading? By Russell Bishop, July 18, 2010
I think in our rush to argue and dissent these days, we have lost the art of listening.
By that, I mean listening to truly understand the other person,
not listening to agree or disagree, but simply listening to understand.
"Are you listening, or just preparing to speak." Someone said: "Americans (for example) aren't listening, they're just reloading." Ouch! That certainly does describe one kind of communication that seems to be increasingly popular these days.
Have you ever been the victim of someone who has been through "effective communications" courses? They can make eye contact, lean forward, toss in the occasional "I see" and make every outward appearance of actually being attentive. They might also paraphrase or even repeat verbatim what is that you have said.
I am not referring to the person who is seeking to listen and to paraphrase before carrying on themselves; but rather about the person who has become highly skilled at "malicious listening." The malicious listener has mastered the art of listening with a different motive. This person listens to prove you wrong and uses your own words to make their case. They can quote you ("you said . . . .") and quickly follow with a retort, rejoinder, or snide comment about how wrong you are. Indeed, they are skillful at "reloading."
With this kind of listening very little actual listening actually takes place. They repeat back what you said and completely miss the message. They can be incredibly adept at using your words against you. They may hear your words, but they surely don't hear you.
The real point of listening has little to do with what words the other person used, and everything to do with the underlying message or meaning. Listening to understand is quite different from listening to prove a point, pick a fight, or win an argument.
Paul Tillich, the philosopher and theologian wrote: "The first duty of love is to listen." A teacher of mine put it this way: "listening is one of the highest forms of caring." Imagine what a conversation or even a disagreement might be like if based on loving and caring - at least caring enough to truly understand the other person.
It is said that all relationship problems are really communication problems. The problem with communication problems is that too many people think communication means they need to say more.
We've all heard the drill: listen first, speak second; paraphrase before adding your own thoughts; don't interrupt. And very little of this makes any real difference.
I, too, spent a lot of time trying to teach people all the various active listening skills including unconditional positive regard over to how to paraphrase and seek mutual understanding.
I suspect that part of the listening problem stems from how much emphasis we place in school as well as in business on the ability to make a point, to advocate a point of view, to argue for a position. If we have been trained in the art of making a strong case for our point of view, many of us then may have learned to listen not so much to understand the other as to be able to offer a counter argument.
There is quite a big difference between conversing with someone who is listening to understand what you have to say and someone who is listening to argue. We have all experienced the person who listens solely for the purpose of countering whatever you have to say, even without having a point of their own to offer. For these folks, the main point of conversation isn't even about a good debate; it is more about discrediting the other, finding holes in their logic, or otherwise appearing superior through the ability to find fault.
Try listening without forming any responses while the other person speaks. If you need to think of anything to say, try thinking of a question that encourages the person to share with you more of their thoughts on the subject, and, in particular, what the underlying meaning or value might be. A meaning or values-based discussion can be quite a bit more illuminating than one based on quick retorts and the ability to pin the other person down with their own words.
If you care for the other person, do your best to demonstrate that caring by your ability to understand what they mean, not just what they are saying. Three more of my favorite quotes on listening:
"It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen."
-- Oliver Wendell Holmes
"A good listener tries to understand what the other person is saying. In the end he may disagree sharply, but because he disagrees, he wants to know exactly what it is he is disagreeing with." -- Kenneth A. Wells
"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." -- Winston Churchill
Russell Bishop is an Educational Psychologist, author, executive coach and management consultant, based in Santa Barbara California. http://www.lessonsinthekeyoflife.com Russell@lessonsinthekeyoflife.com