The Missing Ingredient In Listening

In one ear and out the other.

It’s a common cliche’ of a critique where a conversation (or perhaps a monologue) ends with one person feeling like the other didn’t listen.

They heard you. They nodded their head in affirmation. They even recited back to you word for word what you just said. But listening did not take place.

What was missing was the one element that moves hearing into the realm of listening. It’s called teachability.

Are You Hearing What They’re Saying?

Pretty historic election yesterday.

The Republican party won nearly 65 seats, taking control of the House and gaining spots in the Senate. There was also a large Republican majority in the Governor’s races as well.

I’m not going to use this post to argue the benefits or downsides of either party, nor am I going to anticipate what will happen with the shift in the power base of the political system.

What I am going to talk about is our ability to listen with the ability to hear what people are trying to communicate. That’s what today is all about in the news cycle and in the pundit debates. Today is the day where everyone with an interest in what transpired yesterday will try and decipher what kind of message was being sent by the voters. I guess I should say that there will be some deciphering as well as some spinning.

Talk On Listening

I had the privilege of speaking at Real Life Church in Nampa this past Sunday. They meet in a Middle School gym and are pastored by a great guy by the name of Dana Hicks.

This is about the fifth time I’ve been invited to share with the people there. They are an encouraging mix of young and old who are authentically walking as a community in their spiritual journeys.

My talk was called: Listening – Must Be Present To Win.

If you’d like to listen to any or all of it, they’ve posted it on their website: Real Life Podcast (4/18/10)

During the talk, I speak about the importance of being fully present in order to fully listen. I think we live in a day where silence is quite scary for some of us. In fact, at one point I say, “In a world of too many words, silence affects people who are no longer affected by sound. Plenty of us who are defended against sound have no defense against silence.”

If you have a chance to listen or download the talk, let me know your thoughts and reactions in the comments.