Toward Dynamic Listening
Consider which of the listening barriers cited above you practice. When do you most frequently use them? With whom? Why? Choose one listening block that you would like to chip away. Who would you like to practice better listening with? Under what circumstances?
Communication Theory: I know you believe you understand what you think I said. But I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
Determine to watch yourself throughout your next interaction with that person, noticing how easily you fall into your habitual patterns of passivity or nonlistening and/or how well you implement your new active listening behavior. Make a tally sheet for yourself of how many times in that conversation you blocked communication, and how many times you broke through the block with active listening. Write about your experience to help clarify it for yourself.
Remember, you cannot change another person, but the quality of your relationship can be improved if you practice active listening.
Reprinted with permission, from Simply Well by John W. Travis, MD, & Regina Sara Ryan. Copyright 2001. Celestial Arts, Berkeley, CA.
The online version of Dr. Travis' Wellness Inventory may be accessed at (www.WellPeople.com). The Wellness Inventory may also be licensed by coaches, health and wellness professionals, and organizations.