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Experiences

Rediscovery 22: Listen? Listen!

“Intrusive, thoughtless people!” said K. as he turned back into the room. The supervisor may have agreed with him, at least K. thought that was what he saw from the corner of his eye. But it was just as possible that he had not even been listening as he had his hand pressed firmly down on the table and seemed to be comparing the length of his fingers.”
Franz Kafka, “The Trial”

To listen is to hear something with thoughtful attention. This is exactly what I had been loving to do for many years. “Thoughtless people!” I exclaimed like K. from ‘The Trial’ in many occasions, amazed by the blatant lack of listening I stumbled upon.

But then, my small universe gradually became noisier with more people, stories, interruptions getting in and a growing number of roles to play. Listening, once natural and fundamental, became challenging. It was overshadowed by a cacophony of noises and options. The option to multitask while hearing someone/something, to let my thoughts take me somewhere else in a conversation, to value my busyness more than the chance to discuss and reflect on what I heard.

Amid all these options, when to opt for listening and how to dedicate my full attention to what is being said? A tough question in a noisy and fast-paced world. One that requires an ongoing reflection on what matters and a pinch of discipline… with no guarantee for success. What is certain for me, though, is my rediscovery of listening in all its aspects as a means of connecting, appreciating, learning, reflecting, developing, and much more.

When was the last time you listened carefully?

Listen

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About irinapashina

Marketing professional, blogger, group fitness instructor, reader, theater-goer

Discussion

3 thoughts on “Rediscovery 22: Listen? Listen!

  1. Great topic for a post! When I started doing improv I realised that very often we seemingly listen to someone while actually we are already thinking about what’s being said and preparing our answer. It is a lot harder than one might think to simply really listen. That’s the hardest part in improv – and the one that makes it such fun. 🙂
    P.S. Personally I think you are a great listener, one of the best.

    Posted by Eva | August 16, 2013, 9:57 am
    • Thank you, Eva 🙂
      I am sure improvisation theatre is a great way (among many other things) to get to know yourself especially when it comes to communication with listening being a crucial part of it.
      It strikes me how often we don’t even process what people are saying to us because we are so concentrated on something else while they speak: responding in a certain way, leaving the ‘right’ impression, exploring other thoughts, wishing for the conversation to end or to continue… But if we don’t listen well, how can we expect to understand and communicate well? I try to keep that in mind every time I notice that my attention is dwindling.

      Posted by irinapashina | August 17, 2013, 1:17 pm

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