Friday, June 03, 2005

Listening -The Lost Art of Communication

"One of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone is the gift of attention."
-- Jim Rohn

Quite often I have people saying to me things like, "Maria, I just can't seem to get my (kids, spouse, boss, employees, friends etc.) to listen. It is so frustrating, what do I do?"

One reason people have this challenge, is they do not understand that listening is a skill you need to learn. This is essential to be able to connect with others. It's a skill that has many aspects to it.

Listening is considered one of the most important skills in the work force.

Sadly, in most schools, it is never taught. Many teachers believe that if you can hear, then you can listen. But, hearing and listening are two very different functions.

It would be the same as saying, if you can see than you can read. If this were true than we should be able to read anything put in front of us in any language without any training.

Statistics show that many workplace disasters were a result of an inability to listen properly to instructions and then trying to guess what the person said or meant.

Many times people believe if someone is telling them about a challenge that they are having, that it is a cue to jump in and start solving the problem. However, most people wish only to have a sounding board and just to have you listen. To take over disempowers the other person.

For a first step on the road to understanding listening, I have seen this poem used in different communication courses.

Please Listen

When I ask you to listen,
And you start giving advice,
You have not done what I asked.

When I ask you to listen,
And you begin to tell me
Why I shouldn’t feel the way I do,
You are trampling on my feelings.

When I ask you to listen,
And you feel you have to do something
To solve my problem,
You have failed me,
Strange as that may seem.

All I asked you to do was listen,
Not talk, or do-
Just hear me.

I can do for myself;
I am not helpless . . .
Perhaps discouraged or faltering,
But not helpless.

When you do something for me
That I need to do for myself,
You contribute to my fear and weakness,

But, when you accept the fact
That I feel what I feel
No matter how irrational,
Then I can get on with understanding
What’s behind that irrational feeling.

And, when that’s clear,
The answers will be obvious,
And I won’t need any


P.S. If you like what you're reading in this ezine, you'll love the book, “Overcoming Barriers to Communication.”
It's a manual that helps you overcome the challengers that start with Intrapersonal to Interpersonal and on to Mass Communication.
Overcoming Barriers to Communication

Feel free to comment on any of the articles you read. I welcome feedback.

All the Best!
Maria Boomhower
The Master Communicator
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"The 7 Secrets to Communication Mastery" go to:


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