Mary-Jo Hill

12 Oct 2017
What exactly are you listening to? Who are you really listening to? I am not too sure why I remain so shocked as to the general competency level of most people to be really good listeners. In fact most of the time it is pretty shocking. A teacher I am working with recently acknowledged that in fact he just can't stop "listening to fix". He is always trying to find the solution; move on the issue; work out what he can do to help.

Of course, this natural desire to problem solve and help others was probably the key driver in him becoming a teacher in the first place.  He is now becoming more conscious of what he is listening to. His first thoughts run through a list of some of the unconscious filters that he may be exhibiting..

I’ve done something wrong.

I need to fix you.

I need to judge you.

Moving from the diagnostic (selective listening, filtered hearing and responding) to attentive listening (active attending, hearing, reflecting) was a new skill to practise. It was also the part which the very same teacher had found so useful when receiving coaching himself.

‘Imagine someone listening, not only to your words, but also to what’s behind them..’ Whitworth et al 1998