Thursday, October 2, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 276

There's a tremendous difference between #hearing someone, and #listening to what they have to say. #QuoteADay #Day276 #edchat #edu

Are you a good listener?

Or do you hear people better than you listen?

Note that there isn’t anything wrong with either answer, but it is useful for us to know.  The key is that there is a big difference between hearing people and actually listening to them, and the difference is important.

We can hear people simply from being in the same room as them or having their voice enter our space.  Hearing people is incredibly important, and it is the first step towards having an understanding of people’s needs and wants.  If we don’t hear people, then we won’t be able to help them.

Listening takes this a step further.  When we listen, we are actively engaged in what a person is saying.  We’re ready and willing to provide them with some kind of feedback, whether it be verbal, visual, or something else entirely.  We are ready to take action, because we are invested in what the other person is saying, and what they need from us.

Leaders have to hear people, but they also have to be good listeners.  Listening takes a lot of energy, and at times, all we can do is hear others.  That being said, we need to monitor our response to what people are saying and ask ourselves the following questions:

1.       Have I been listening to people as well as hearing them?

2.      Am I differentiating between when I can simply hear others, and when I need to listen to them?

3.      How can I become a better listener, and a better hearer of information?

There are others questions we can ask, but these are a good start.  The goal is to make sure that we’re both hearing and listening at the appropriate times.  Everyone has a right to be heard, and everyone should be listened to.  The goal is to monitor our time and energy to make sure we can do both for all.

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