Beyond active listening



We have to provide training on, not only active listening, but Tough Active Receiving.  In other words, it's not just a passive job of listening but rather it is an  active job of receiving.  Listening is passive, but Receiving is Active.

It is like a batter's attempts to hit the pitcher's strategic deliveries approaching him with all the tricks and twists of the thrust within them.  As Receivers, we have to learn how to receive communication however it might be sent, and interpret that information  to our benefit -- even turning possible or implied offenses into favourable ammunition.

If the boss or a peer tells us we do a lousy job, we should re-learn to "take it like a man" (or a woman).  It may be that we haven't done such a hot job after all.  If we think or know we did a good job, then we ask constructive questions (Smart Questioning) to get feedback about unclear and incomplete statements -- before reacting; for example:  "Oh, I'm sorry you feel that way, can you tell me what exactly you mean by a lousy job?" Active Receiving includes all of the activities that come into play in Interpreting and Understanding.

Not everybody who talks to us has gone through a communication training.  Even those who have don't all come out of a seminar transformed to perfection. We should be so lucky!  We all have to begin the work of  applying what we learned  after the training session.
/dmh

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