Tuesday, 14 May 2013

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** Friends, Romans, countrymen,

lend me your ears…

Lend / Verb//
- Grant to (someone) the use of (something) on the understanding that it shall be returned.
Vertebrate organ of hearing, responsible for maintaining equilibrium as well as sensing sound.

Listening asks for more than the use of your ear
What’s the use of ears if you don’t even plan to use them?  I mean, whenever I say something, they already have a solution, or a strategy or the usual   ‘you-should-rather-have…’ reply ready.
(15 year old girl, sharing her frustration of not being listened to.)
Previously, we blogged about the value and positive changes that we see when adults, in particular the Teachers, to whom facingUP Support Services (fUSS) deliver our Emotional Awareness Training, start understanding the value of listening - to each other, as well as to learners and their own kids.
“In the craziness of preparing dinner, knowing I’m going to be late for the Parents’ evening at school, my kids want to talk to me. Not chat, talk! But I know I’m not listening.  So what am I doing?” asked a mother of three during a training session.  Well, in those situations - and let’s be honest, we all face similar situations daily - I think it’s safe to say you’re merely hearing.
Listening means attentiveness, entwined with consideration, thoughtfulness and concentration. And that comes through your posture as well as expressions. Hearing means you register some noise, make some return-noises (or give stock-answers) in the direction where the noise is coming from. My theory is this: Listening registers in the heart. Hearing registers in the head.
Many parents feel guilty for not listening (for various reasons) to their children. Our encouragement at training sessions is often this:  It is normal to find that your ears are stuck in neutral, un-engaged in the crazy-hour of the evening (or pre-school morning drill).  And, as life would have it, this would normally be the time that your beloved little rosy-cheeked ray of sunshine (or husband) would like to tell you, in full detail, about the issue that all-consuming issue. The only thing you want to bark is: “Go away”, “not now” or, the more polite ones out there, “can’t you see I’m busy, please...?” But any of the afore mentioned can deep-fry you in guilt…or worse, get the dreaded attitudinal-stare (pic left)
Whilst some conversations (where ears are in gear) can happen during the normal course of a day, sometimes we need to be able to listen with full engagement. In the madness of daily life, this is not always easy.
So, here’s an AAH strategy you could try next time you find yourself stuck between ‘must-listen’ and ‘stuff-that-must-happen-I-can’t-listen-now’:
to your precious one that you would love to listen to their story and not miss anything! However, right now, with the slushing-sounds of the washing machine, the nuclear drone of the microwave cooking the rice for din-din, and the onions ruining your make-up, you’re concerned you might miss out on some of the details of their story.
if it would be OK if you can listen to them later? Suggest that you can make the two of you a hot chocolate later, and then they can tell you the whole story. Experience will help you to determine whether this is the type of conversation that would benefit all your attention right away. Be sure to evaluate the issue with sensitivity. If it's a 'have-it-now' chat, then do it.
your commitment to a later talk-time. Chances are that you still have a long list of stuff requiring your attention. If you are really pressed for time – honour your commitment of earlier – but feel free to tell the person that you have 13 minutes, but would love to hear what they have to say. (Reserve your answers/advice/sermon for a later stage. remember, most people will ask for advice or answers.)
In a survey we conducted, more than 80% of young people we work with indicated that the fact that they 'have been able to voice their issue to someone who cares for them, is a help' in itself. Therefore,  we encourage you to take time to listen to them. Young people are in a formative stage of their lives, and benefit from 'bouncing' their opinions and learnings against a safe ear. Be sure to play nice. 
Next time we'll look at some basic listening skills to help you make the most of your ear-engagement. 
** When we used this quatations then we ask someone politely to listen to us very carefully or with full attention.It also used when you want to speak directly to people about things that are important or serious. It is basically request between the person who saying and who is listening to think on a meaningful matter or discussion.
 ** From the speech by Mark Antony in the play Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare. It is taken from Act III, scene II. (Thanks Wikipedia)
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