Friday, February 8, 2013

More Talking about Listening

I have a problem. I over-research. I admit it.

This is not a new thing. In 3rd grade, I wrote my very first paper, which we called "reports" back then. Mr. Dye asked us to write a paper on our favorite zoo animal. I picked tigers. They have stripes and whiskers and they look like big house cats, what's not to love. He asked us to write a 5 page paper. I wrote 17.

 It's a little charming, but it's a lot neurotic. Some people procrastinate from writing by eating, or whiling away on the internet, or cleaning the house, or making up chores that need to be done. I procrastinate by researching. This is why it takes me a minimum of 2 years to write a book. I have 1700 pages of notes for a book that will be 200 pages. People who are writing doctoral dissertations faint when I tell them this.

But it's my problem, and I'll deal with it. If someone wants to open an account for my therapy bills I'm listening. On a practical level, I have hundreds of pages of notes that will never see the light of day. Unless that is, I post some thoughts here. Last week I posted some of my tweets about listening, and I suspect I will be doing this many times. Twitter is NOT a good place for conversation (and I really wish some people would grasp that), but perhaps here we could have a good discussion on some of the thoughts I have about listening. I would very much like your feedback and responses.

So here goes. Tweets about listening from the last week:

I think the best listening happens when you listen for what the other person finds interesting, not for what you find interesting.

Deep listening requires that you don't rush people to the end.You sit in the unresolved, the ambiguous, the painful without trying to fix it.

The first thing hurting people need is not answers. The first thing they need is to know they are not alone.

I am coining a new term. "Boomerang question" - a question that someone asks you, with the intention of answering it themselves.

Developing a posture of listening requires that we are receptive to being influenced by others, open to having our minds changed.

To be a skilled listener you must be more interested in discovering another person's experience than in self-expression.

A good listener assumes that the other person is the expert on her own life, not you.

When someone shares with you something painful, do not begin your next sentence with "At least..."

Who knew that tweets about listening would get so many RTs? Maybe it IS possible to make listening sexy.

I suspect that a little bit of listening would go a long way in blowing away the straw man.

I'm still not sure why there is a third piece of bread on a club sandwich.

So, what do you think? Do any of those lines particularly strike you? Do you agree? Disagree? How do you feel about the third piece of bread on a club sandwich?

I want to hear from you.