All people in training to become therapists are, at some point, encouraged to understand and appreciate the art of listening. But listening does not

exclusively belong to therapists. Here are some thoughts about listening that could be useful to all

of us.

  1. My mother was one of the best listeners I ever knew. She really paid active attention to the speaker. People felt heard and cared for because she was sincerely interested in what they had to say.
  2. Listening is most effective when we do not combine listening with waiting for a chance to break in, to formulate our response, to take back the conversation. Listening to others is not simply a break from our own yakking.
  3. We listen to what people say AND more importantly, we listen to what they mean to say.
  4. In listening to what people say, it is also smart to consider what they do not say.
  5. Listening is a gift and it is every bit as important as speaking smart things.




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