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  • Writer's pictureGeraldine Waxman, ESQ.

THE ART OF LISTENING. Do You Really Hear What I am Saying?

To truly listen to someone is to be "in the moment". The words expressed might just not mean what the person is trying to tell us. It’s about listening so that the individual "feels" that they are "heard" and that you are not just parroting back what you heard. When you are really listening, you are not thinking about the end of the conversation, what work you need to do later, or the telephone call you must make. Rather, you are connected to the individual in the moment, you have taken that moment to tune in to not only hear but also to feel what the person's words and emotions are. How then to accomplish this and stay tuned into yourself:

1. Ensure you have the time to commit to the process;

2. Note whether you are in a hurry or have deadlines, etc that will cause you to give less than the quality of time the person needs;

3. Cleanse your mind of opinions, prejudices, judgments;

4. Open yourself to exist in that moment so that you may completely hear what the person is saying and feeling;

5. Be ready to identify the emotions that you are listening to from the other person. Consider how their emotions are affecting the conversation;

While you are not the "problem solver" you, the mediator are the "owner of the process." Only when the parties know that you are truly listening and hearing them will you be able to assist them toward a conclusion that is "right" for both sides.

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