“What Most People Really Need is a Good Listening to…” Mary Lou Casey

Listening deeply is a skill that can improve our lives and relationships in profound ways. But most of us just don’t know how to do it. We don’t know how to communicate that we understand, not just the nuts and bolts of what is being said, but also the feelings and needs of the speaker. And this understanding is often all someone really wants.

Instead of listening to understand, we are often formulating our response, plotting our defense or thinking about how to solve the problem our friend, partner, child or colleague is discussing. This approach can create disconnection, anger and misunderstanding. On the other hand, listening well and communicating our understanding effectively can create intimacy, healing and compassion.

Below is a quiz to help you think about how you listen. The next blog post will outline simple ways to improve your listening skills and what gets in the way of listening well.

1. Do I listen to understand or am I getting ready to speak?

2. Do I look at the person when she/he speaks to me?

3. Do I allow the speaker to finish his/her thoughts without interrupting?

4. Do I keep my emotions in check when listening?

5. Do I ignore distractions such as the TV and phone when listening?

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