I have a lot of passionate thoughts and practices around listening. I used to do it professionally, as a hospice chaplain. Before and since that, I (do my best to) offer it in my relationships… not just with adults, but with children, animals, and all of Nature. (You should hear the wise things trees have to say! All those years they’ve been standing and witnessing everything around them. I dare you to sit beneath/beside one, and ask It what It has to share with you. My first tree-talk changed me forever.)
I am so enamored with my listening lifestyle, that I’m a member of the International Listening Association just so I can be in community with others who are as wild about listening as I am. And there are other organizations, too, that see listening as a sacred art and spiritual practice. They’re in my family, also.
What’s your opinion about listening?
I’m doing initial research for a personal project (I promise to tell you all about it as it takes more shape) and I could really benefit from hearing your thoughts and opinions about listening, specifically:
- How do you define a “good listener”? What do they do? What are their traits?
- How often do you have the chance to be with a good listener?
- On a scale of 1-10, and just using your gut as a guide, how do you rate your listening skills?
- What do you think about this essay by Brenda Ueland?
Your time is precious. So if you can answer even one of these questions in the comments below, I’d be so grateful.