Labour and Co-operative Member of
Parliament for Kemptown and Peacehaven

Communication – the fourth ear

by Lloyd on 12.10.09

At that last session we looked and talked about active listing.

The two exercises were basic and very similar. One was to divide in to pairs and we talked about a dilemma. Each of us had to listen and refrain from judging and giving advice.

We asked ourselves questions such as: How was it? How was the quality of listening? What were the feelings of thoughts of those listening? What worked well and what didn’t?

This exercises was intresting but we only taked around the topic. We should talked about what are the advantages of active listening, what can happen if we don’t listen and what do people so often do?

Listening is hard and to focus some time on this was right, the second exercises was taken from the internet (I cant find the link as no reference was given, sorry). It involved the pairs discussing something controversial and the other partner not responding at all.

Talked about what we thought of this, again basic. With the list “communication — listening with your body” of skills and suggestions for active listening. The sheet was basic, and I must say what it didn’t portray is that each person is different and the main thing is appropriately responding to the talking party.

Thinking more in depth about this I have used the idea of “ears” in the past to think about how we listen.

Listening is a vital tool for feedback and action and the website from Linus Geisler talks about different types of ears (see the digram above). Thinking about how we receive messages and how we interpret them is important.

Rather than just listening and trying to mimic the guides surly we should be thinking more fundamentally about how we take and use information that people express to us. We need to think what different peoples body language and communication means to us and how we interpret that. I also think that considering how our response are liable to change depending on the mood and surroundings that we are in.

Far too often listening and hearing is confused, today in Click on on BBC Radio 4, they talked about political blogging. Dispute Obama’s success in blogging the adoption by the British parties just has been a place for people to shout, a place to disseminate information but not to truly listen not for a full communication.

Is this becuase its not face to face, it this because people far to often confuse talking and listening or is it that we just cant really listen and act.

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Labour and Co-operative Member of
Parliament for Kemptown and Peacehaven

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