Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Lost Art of Listening

“Most people listen with the intent to respond instead of listening with the intent to understand.”  Stephen R. Covey

In our fast-paced technology-infused society, we tend to lose focus easily (at least I do) and we don’t listen as carefully as we should. And I love Stephen Covey’s quote, we also don’t listen for the right reasons.

Having just finished a great semester with awesome students, I like to reflect back on things that went well or need improvement. One aspect of teaching that I need to change is to “listen more and talk less.” Some of you may ask why I feel this needs to change. Here are two reasons:

  • learning happens when students are talking and I am not talking; and
  • listening to their talking means I can witness their learning.

In my role as a parent, I often get frustrated when my kids want to talk to me (my kids tend to talk a lot and I have no idea where they get that). How awful is that?  They are approaching the ages of 10 and 13, and I don’t listen to them enough. Soon they aren’t going to want to talk to me at all so I need to cherish these moments and listen carefully. 

As you prepare for this holiday season, I challenge you to focus more on listening. And to listen to people for the right reason. 

A list of joyous holiday sounds