Hearing and Listening are Two Different Things

 

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It is always amazing to me how often people plant their flags in extreme positions, determined to be unmoved. So very determined NOT to see, examine and consider other perspectives. The truth and solutions to the issues that ail us rarely, if ever, lie in extremes.

We unfortunately live in a country where from the onset, most people see ZERO value in other peoples positions, opinions, intentions, knowledge, expertise, or lived experiences. We need to be better listeners. We need to remove ego from our discourse. We need to be constantly challenging and questioning the lenses through which we see everything that happens around and to us (if it is our intention to grow and evolve and mature). Let’s try asking ourselves how often do we have a dialogue with someone on an issue where we start off on polar opposite sides of it, but at some point during the conversation say or think things like, “ ok, I see where you’re coming from” or “ I get what your intent was” or “hmm, that’s an intersecting perspective” or “ hmm, I never looked at it exactly like that” or “I feel you on that point” or “ok, I hear you, let me give that some thought”…For too many of us, the answer is, unfortunately, rarely or NEVER.

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The ability to say, “Sister, I get where you’re coming from but you went about that the wrong way” or “Brother, I hear you, but if you address me in that tone, we can’t communicate,” would go a long way to improving our interpersonal relationships, and our communities’ problems.

Let’s elevate, uplift and be better listeners.

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