Is There a Difference Between Hearing & Listening? Just randomly is there a difference between listening to someone and hearing him/her. I notice that people use the words interchangeably but the other night while in a discussion someone told me that I was hearing him but I wasn’t listening. Thoughts … Authentic, active listening
Think of a time when you felt that someone was not really listening to you. What let you know that the other person was not listening, and how did that make you feel?
Ears hear – hearing is easy. Hearts listen and listening is hard work. You can hear without listening but you cannot listen without “turning off your filters”, opening your heart, and becoming one with the speaker in order to discover their truth within you as they speak.
Listening requires that you genuinely focus on the speaker’s words, meanings, and feelings. It means you must first let go of your own ideas, roles, and agendas. If you don’t let go first, then what you “hear” will all be filtered through your own preconceived ideas and assumptions, and you will fail to appreciate and understand what the other person is conveying from their point of view.
Hearing is physiological, whereas listening is more than that. It has the ability to interpret. — Dosox
An authentic active listener must search for the other person’s meaning by looking for deeper issues, intended meanings, and personal needs as they hear the words the other person is speaking.
Support open communication
- offering positive responses, encourages the speaker to share what they are thinking and feeling
- asking open questions so the speaker to explain in greater depth will help them achieve greater clarity
- acknowledging and naming the speaker’s feelings
- empathizing by recalling times you have felt the same feelings and offering a few words that make it clear that you understanding
- show your support by mirroring ie. reflecting back the feelings of the speaker
- reframing by restating the issue in a way that preserves the content and allows movement toward resolution
- summarizing the speaker’s message in your own words, so the speaker feels heard and can confirm or correct your understanding
Truth be told, we rarely connect to another person by one sense alone. Over 80% of the communication we broadcast and receive is transmitted through facial expressions, gestures, body language and pheromone exchange.
At the very least we see and hear simultaneously and during more intimate relating we see, hear, touch, smell, and maybe even taste. The complex and subtle interactions among all that sensory input far exceeds the interpersonal meaning we can extract from any one of them alone.
Eyes, ears, skin, noses, and tongues – all interconnected in marvelous ways that science still doesn’t fully understand. Those clusters of sensations make for relationships that are highly robust in emotion and meaning.
Examine the ways by which people communicate, connect, and bond with each other and to compare IPR (in person relationships) and CSR (cyberspace relationships) according to how people connect via the five senses:
- hearing the other
- seeing the other
- touching the other
- smelling the other
- tasting (!) the other
The first sense, hearing involves the basic skill for language, which isn’t necessarily auditory.
The second sense, is sight. In cyberspace gender, race, and whether you are “attractive” or not – are irrelevant. Everyone has an equal voice and is judged by the same standards ie. by their words.
The third sense is touch. Almost anything you can do with someone in cyberspace you could also do with them in-person, simply because they can be sitting side-by-side with you in front of the computer while you do it. However, the reverse isn’t true. Everything you can do with someone in-person can’t be duplicated in cyberspace and that’s a big disadvantage for CSR.
The fourth and fifth senses are smelling and tasting. Smell brings us very close to the other and stirs up powerful emotional reactions. Consider the scent of perfume, hair, clothes, skin.
The sense of taste brings us closer still. It’s the sensation of lovers. One might say that smell and taste are rather “primitive” interpersonal sensations, but both are the cornerstones of deep intimacy – maybe because they are so primitive, so fundamental. On this level of relating, a CSR once again falls flat.
When we are communication online we are, in essence, sensory deprived. Therefore it’s not surprising that listening with our hearts is more difficult to achieve online than it is to achieve in person.
Reference: Listen From Your Heart -by Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD, Life Coach, Hypnotherapist, Author.