What can affectionate listening in (300) Three Hundred Seconds do?
The human mind processes information faster than we can talk. This is useful for the instinctual intellectual mind for survival.
If we want to tap into empathic listening, patience and discipline of the mind is required. Movement from linear thinking to spatial level fields of abstract thinking is necessary.
There is so much time in our minds to formulate opinions, answers, conclusions, judgments and responses while someone else is talking. We all do it.
How often do we get into conversations where it’s, “always the same story,” or “I have the answer,” so let me interrupt you to save time, confusion or simply to enthusiastically help by correcting you.
All of these examples may be justifiable, but they really do not paint an accurate picture in your own mind or create an atmosphere for effective listening.
Effective listening is affectionate listening. Three hundred seconds can create a dynamic place for growth and understanding.
How many times have you heard someone say to you; “Thank you so much for listening?”
If you are truthful, you most often rarely do. Why? Maybe it’s because we truly are not listening.
Listening requires more than just hearing.
Body language, facial expression, appropriate nodding, physical appearance and maybe most important, keeping YOUR MOUTH CLOSED and not interrupting.
How long is 5 minutes? Three hundred seconds.
Do realize how many daily, weekly and monthly conversations we are engaged in? Whatever the amount, patience and due diligence is necessary for each one. Often we take them for granted and do the most obvious thing which we are all at fault: assuming we understand.
You can never understand the inner processing of another. Everyone interprets the world differently; how they talk with themselves internally, their belief and value structure, their trauma pain.
“The colossal misunderstanding of our time is the assumption that insight will work with people who are unmotivated to change. Communication does not depend on syntax, or eloquence, or rhetoric, or articulation but on the emotional context in which the message is being heard. People can only hear you when they are moving toward you, and they are not likely to when your words are pursuing them. Even the choicest words lose their power when they are used to over-power. Attitudes are the real figures of speech.” — Edwin H. Friedman
Affectionate listening appears to me a very unique, distinct opportunity in every situation.
Acute self awareness sometimes can allow a shift in ones own behaviors and be reflected back towards you by another. Being conscious of the unconscious moves us from fate into reality.
Silence is golden. Make use of the silence before words are spoken.
Imagine a symphony orchestra, it is the silence in between the notes that makes music beautiful.
The world processing center that is our mind processes information 1/1000th of seconds with a lag/pause. That means that we are never truly in any event, we are actually interpreting the event. An old fashion tape recorder is similar in modular amplitude and frequency.
Our reality is fundamentally based on our perceptions or perspective in how we view the world.
What if, you could resist the temptation of injecting your perception into a conversation? What I mean is, when listening, refrain from formulating your response while the other person is speaking even though you presume to understand. You really don’t understand.
If you can remember the last time someone said to you, “thanks for listening,” you may have noticed that you invested time into the conversation. You more than likely weren’t looking at your watch, thinking about what the babysitter is doing, or if the project at work would get done. No, you were affectionately listening.
Engaging in the conversation and putting forth the effort to really listen and comprehend is affectionate listening.
The biggest barriers in communication especially listening is the concept of time, stress or indifference.
Naturally, it’s safely possible to carefully concentrate focused attention for three hundred seconds. What you might find is that the conversation will conclude earlier than that time and you have affectionately listened without judgment, injecting your opinion, or stress. You invested into the engagement of exchange by only listening.
Five minutes is an eternity for someone who would really like to be heard.
What if I don’t have five minutes?
Perhaps politely say, I really want to hear what you have to say and I want to give you my complete focus and right now is not the best time for me to do that, can I call you back in 10 minutes?
If in person, say, “I will be done with what I’m working on at 3: 00p.m, would you let me be available for you at that time? Will that work for you?
I must say that writing it in black and white is much easier than actually having the courage, patience and tolerance to perform it in real life situations.
It can be done and I think you would find that most people would find it refreshing to communicate with someone who is honest and respects time.
Demonstrating genuineness is not a show. It is being true to yourself and is reflected back to you in other peoples behavior towards you.
Affectionate listening is the goal or aim. We understand that “sin’ means missing the mark. It’s important that our intentions in communication are clear.
If you feel tired, hungry, angry or alone, you more than likely are not in a preferred state of mind to listen to anyone. This is not an excuse rather a reality for most.
The word understanding is the ability to comprehend, the power of abstract thought, and an informal agreement to perceive or judge with sympathetic awareness or tolerance.
Listening requires thinking and that is most often why so few of us do it. It is so much easier to assume. “Yeah, I’ve done that,” or sidetracking, “Oh, that happened to Mary, did you know that she..” We have all done it.
Acute self awareness in understanding that each encounter is an opportunity for growth in learning about another can make the shift in behavior.
Any habit that becomes easy to perform is something we like to improve on and do more of.
The next conversation you engage in pause and think: In three hundred seconds, I have an opportunity to learn something I don’t know, because I really do not know how he/she is evaluating the world.
You might even find it fun, because now you are ACUTELY SELF-AWARE of being the witnesser-experiencer instead of the knower-experienced.