Automatic vs. Creative Listening


Automatic vs. Creative Listening


Most of us listen automatically, which takes two forms: not listening at all or listening judgmentally. Think about how you listen to someone you like vs. someone about whom you don't feel so fondly. You judge what the former is saying more favorably than you judge what the latter is saying.


There are other matters of automatic listening as well:


·         Looking for a fatal flaw


·         Thinking about how to respond


·         Concluding what is being said is not valid


·         Assuming we already know the information


·         Trying to figure out how the information fits in with what we already know


With creative listening, on the other hand, you must determine who's in charge. Is it you or your automatic thoughts and responses? Either the conversations have you or you have the conversations. The first step to becoming a creative listener is to be aware of your automatic listener ... and hit the off button.


Now that it's quiet, ask yourself “What is the speaker's commitment?”


·         What are the possibilities?


·         What can I learn?


·         What is the speaker's reality?


·         What are the speaker's concerns?


·         Where can we align?


·         What will work?


When we choose to listen creatively, we give people a genuine chance to be heard. We also offer our teams and organizations the chance to have true collaboration, communication, creativity, risk-taking and trust.


 Blessings, Douglas Raine