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Listening: A Definition

 

In this series on listening, I don't think I've really defined the word. What is it?

The American Heritage dictionary gives it as:

1. To make an effort to hear something: listen to the radio; listening for the bell.
2. To pay attention; heed: "She encouraged me to listen carefully to what country people called mother wit" (Maya Angelou).
"Make an effort." "Pay attention." Ears are implied, but not exclusive.

If I could, I'd like to give my own definition.

Listening is not an auditory function, but a focused act of receptivity by one's whole body and mind. You hear with your ears; you listen with your soul, open wide.
If a definition for conversation is that two people enter into it willing to emerge a slightly different person, then listening is the openness to become changed in response to what someone else communicates to us.

 


Tags: listening
by Brett Rogers, 7/6/2007 9:23:40 AM
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Comments

Love it and ever so true. Listening is truly the most important skill in communication and one most don't practice well (myself included).

 

 

Posted by Tony Gallegos (http://tgalleg.typepad.com/), 7/10/2007 5:21:23 PM



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