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Who's Listening?

by Ann Marie Parisi

One of the nicest things we can do for someone is simply to listen and show genuine interest. So many people in today's "ME" generation listen with their own "agenda", as if to say, "I have something far more important to say than whatever it is you're saying."

Listening is integral to learning. The great Greek Philosopher Socrates 'invented' what has come to be called the Socratic Method. Socrates went around asking questions of everyone and then he listened quietly, not interupting the speaker and absorbing every word. Doctors, salespeople and lawyers would be at a huge disadvantage if they were not good listeners. To listen means not trying to advance what you have to say but to grasp what is said. How can a student progress if he doesn't listen? Socrates was a student of the 'art of listening' and thus became very learned.

Listening is also a necessary component of "dialogue". The first two letters of the word dialogue 'di' means two. How can there be dialogue unless both parties are listening to one another?

The next time you watch a crime drama, pay attention to the questions asked and observe the inquisitor's attention and the follow up questions asked. There is a clear discernable sequence to the follow-up questions. Why? Because the Inquisitor was listening.

Ann Marie Parisi is a senior at Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, CA majoring in Elementary Education and the author of two books under the brand name Lunch Bag Notes. She lives at home with her parents and younger brother who is also an author.

 

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Friday, 31 Oct 2014 04:18 AM

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