Listening Intently, But For What Purpose? …


Listening“A man who listens because he has nothing to say can hardly be a source of inspiration.  The only listening that counts is that of the talker who alternately absorbs and expresses himself.”

Agnes Repplier

Sometimes in class, I step out of myself and observe the scene …

There I am, trying real hard to ask open-ended and thought-provoking questions, while I throw a well-constructed visual image up on the screen, and relate the discussion to both the background materials they should have read before class and the real world application of all that theory.   It exhausts me to construct just the right combination of words and pictures in the right order with the right nuances  …

Then I observe the students, who appear to be hard at work, often copying the content of the slide or staring at the handout from the course text, intently poring over the words like they have never read those ideas, concepts, and terms before.  They are very busy listening.

The number of times I get a thoughtful response or question is disappointingly small …

Why do we listen, if not to question?

    Listen to hear what is said …

    Hear to reflect on what  it means…

    Reflect to understand and to question (Yes, you can do both at the same time) …

    Ask the question to learn more and deeper …

    Listen to hear the response   … and repeat

Waiting for the completion of the circle in the Heartland ….

John

1 thought on “Listening Intently, But For What Purpose? …

Comments are closed.