“You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.”
-M. Scott Peck
3 Common Listening Mistakes
Drifting Off in Thought
- Making a grocery list in your head. Suddenly remembering you need to make a hair appointment or pay a bill. When you are preoccupied your mind wanders and you have stopped listening. Before your next Kin visit, take some time to empty your cup so that you can be fully present with your Kin.
Listening to Respond
- We often believe that we are listening but we are actually waiting for a chance to talk. We may want to tell our own story, offer advice, or even make a judgment, but when we listen in this way we are not listening to understand but rather to reply. We can’t listen if we are waiting for our turn to talk.
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand;
they listen with the intent to reply.” – Stephen Covey
- Our preconceived ideas/assumptions make it hard to actively listen without being judgmental or jumping to conclusions. Be a non-judgemental presence in your Kin’s life, work to look at the world through your Kin’s perspective and leave the judgment outside.
Remember, you cannot truly listen if you are doing something else, so avoid daydreaming, creating your response or passing judgment during your next Kin visit.
In this leader’s corner, we share resources for active listening exercises you can use with your volunteers.
Simultaneous Conversation – illustrates what emotional effect that occurs when listening does not happen
The Power of Active Listening – This exercise shows the power of active listening.
Circle Story – Avoiding preconceived ideas/assumptions about what a Kin is sharing
As Mark Just Said – practice listening to others and avoid jumping in
Line Story – Avoid interrupting and practice staying present while listening
Mirror – Mirroring body language and remaining focused
Journey to Work – There are lots of barriers to active listening.
Stop Listening – Demonstrates the impact of listening and not listening have on a Kin