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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1523682-Listening
by ruwth
Rated: E · Essay · How-To/Advice · #1523682
Free-Writing about listening/an assortment of ideas/seeds for something more later.
Hello! If you are reading these words, you have stumbled upon my "experiment".

I was trying to learn how to write reviews for items that rated 3 or fewer stars. I wanted to see how other folks wrote them so I went to the Public Review Board to find some examples. The public reviews that I found that day were all for works that warranted 4 or 5 stars. I came up with the bright idea to requistion my own.

First I needed a poorly written piece of writing. I could not deliberately make mistakes . . . I wasn't comfortable with that. So I hit upon the idea of free-writing on some subject. I chose to write about listening. I just recorded the thoughts that came to my mind that day . . . with no organization . . . no fore-thought . . . and no editing.

That last part was hard for me . . . that editor in my head wants to talk all the time. It is funny because there is an error in the first line that occurred because of that fellow. Where is says, "and is it?" I had originally written "and is it a part of everyday life?" -- the editor in my head didn't like the sound of that and  backspaced before I could stop him! If you choose to continue, read that line: "or is it?"

Here is a collection of thoughts about listening and probably the seeds for more than one article on the subject:

Listening is a part of everyday life . . . and is it? So much talking, so little listening. True communicaiton can not take place unless we learn to listen. Too many times we don't even realize that misunderstanding has taken place.

How do you listen? What do we have to do to really listen?

One important thing is that we need to BE QUIET! We not only need to keep our lips closed, we need to be quiet inside our heads. We can not truly listen to another person when we are busy listening to our own thoughts.

My best friend and I interrupt each other all the time when we are talking. Do we ever truly listen. If we are busy thinking about what we want to say next, we miss out on hearing what the other fella is saying.

One time she and I did an exercise in listening. I had read about a "story stick" that was supposedly used by native americans in a story telling circle or something. She and I used a candlestick. We passed it back and forth. Only the one holding the candlestick was allowed to speak. It was an interesting experience.

We had pauses in our conversation. There were even a couple of times that the candlestick sat in the center of the table while each of us pondered and formulated our thoughts.

Feedback is another thing that is important in listening. It seems a bit awkward to paraphrase what the other person has said but without feedback it is impossible to know if you have gotten the message right. Without feedback, the person speaking cannot know if their attempt at communication was effective

Clarifying what you see. That is another element in communication. I am not sure that it falls under the category of listening but since much of our communication is non-verbal, perhaps it does. If someone has a frown on their face, what does that mean? The only way that you can know what another person is thinking is to ask. A frown might mean they are angry with you, or that they are trying to figure something out or that they have gas. The only way for you to know is if they are willing to tell you and you take the time to listen
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