Thursday, February 12, 2009

Listening


The act of listening, really listening, is not as easy as it looks. You have to take into account the person and their feelings- where they are and where they are going. We are all on a journey. My perception is that Jesus was a very good listener. Yes, what we read is many of the things He said, but the listening is implied.
The act of debate is a type of listening. You need to know both sides of an issue and be able to move to either side to "hear" the information of your opponent. My family is so fortunate to live in a country that believes in debate. Sometimes there is mudslinging, but in general, there is debate.
Being a judge is the ultimate listening position. I often wonder how juvenile and family court judges do their work. Loads of listening. The few times I have been in a court room I have enjoyed the sqenched up face of a well respected judge. They are far wiser than me and they know how to listen.
Good teachers lecture little. They offer information and then listen to watch a student learn. The Montessori way is to pre- teach, teach a second time and then listen to the language develop as the learning begins. Children are hungry for language. They will seek it out- if you are listening.
I find myself on an open road these days. It is certainly a freeing experience not to have to give loads of instruction as I felt I needed to when the children were little. Now I am free to simply listen. Sometimes I do a good job of it, other times I fail. My approach for most of my life right now- listen twice, speak once.

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