We all are faced once in a while with situations where it will be difficult for us to listen, and we really need to listen well in many of these situations even if it is hard for us and will take a great deal of effort to do it well. When there is any time available before this event there are things you can do to help prepare yourself to do the best job of listening your current level of skill makes possible.
Please watch the video before you comment.
How long does it take to be a good listener?
About 8 years with a good mentor
Then it seems without a good mentor a person could spend their entire life without becoming a good listener nor have an understanding of what a good listener does
I am setting a very high standard for being a good listener. Obviously we do learn something about listening on our own, we are just not likely to meet the standard of being really good at it on a consistent basis.
So far I’ve not been exposed to this elite corps of listeners and now sadly I’m old — too bad there wasn’t anyone to tell me that until now.
Since I know you pretty well. I can tell you that you have already done some of the early steps.
I happen to think that we are a mimetic species that learn by the models displayed in our environment — if no listeners inhabit my environment — that is, it is not a habitual manifestation from those around me, I will not be likely to replicate the behavior.
How many people are listening in your environment that you can use as models?
Such a beautiful story! I was really moved, and immediately caught my interest and attention! Your recommended techniques resonate spot-on with mindfulness practice, iRest specifically, which utilizes “feeling into” what presents, “welcoming” all that arises, “working with opposites”, and, visualizing. And of course, these practices are all about opening oneself to the ground of listening, both to self and to the other!
Your story seems not far from the stories I shared in the Listening, Silence, Conformity, and Authenticity Salon, and point to how we are often unprepared in the listening context. It’s good to know there are ways to learn and come to better understanding and skillfulness. Another thought that came to me while listening to the final development in your story was wondering if your father’s silence encompassed a new peace and sense of having said all that needed to be said in that previous conversation with you? Amazing and inspiring!
Thank you for sharing this story and the techniques offered!
I really do not know much about what he was thinking after we finished that conversation. One thing I do know is that he did not ask me to say anything about my own positions.
Sandra, I am wondering if you could elaborate on the connections you suggest between the ideas in this movie and the iRest material you mention.
This is an incredibly valuable approach and process for anyone looking for authenticity and healing within relationships. All long-term relationships eventually bring tough interactions and situations, but with these internal shifts of approach, there’s a lot of potential growth to be had.
Hi Maureen, this is Kristine typing for Jerry who is trying to make sense of all the tech! We are very grateful for your comments and excited for your participation here at Listen4achange. You are not wrong about the importance of listening to authenticity and relationships, whether long term or in passing. And the internal shifts, as you’ve noted, require commitment, and may take a lifetime.