Listen with Open Ears

It is one thing to listen; it is another to hear.

Photo of Laura Terrazas

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There are many people who want to contribute to learning and growing.  Sometimes when these people come to us with ideas, we only listen and nod and say the right words and then move on to whatever task we need to complete.  It is important to engage in a conversation and really listen and hear what someone is saying to ensure we understand what the person wants to share. It takes courage to share a thought or idea and this needs to be fostered.  If we do not listen fully, and truly hear what someone is trying to share with us then the ideas will stop coming.

Some things that may hinder this type of conversation are: our own biases, cell phones, meetings that are not given enough time or maybe listening to too many people at one time.


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Photo of Emma Scripps

Hey Laura, 

This is interesting! Makes me wonder - if soft skills (listening, communication) are so important - what would a PD around developing these skills look like? Could be fun to think about developing out some content on that. 

- E

Photo of Laura Terrazas

I have been thinking about this as well.  Where I work this is a huge issue - because we are on line. When we all meet in person we are constantly checking our phones and emails on our computers.   So we start with some rules- no open computers, no phones- but what I have realized is that most people are just waiting for break to answer all the emails that are stacking up.  So I have been trying to think about something that will bring everyone back in and make them slow down and listen and ensure that everyone understands how it pertains to them.  The other issue is when we do our PDs on line- again people are multi tasking so I cannot say how much active listening is going on.  

Photo of Charles Shryock, IV

Are you a fan of sketchnoting? I wonder if producing visual artifacts from listening would be a good way to build trust. 

I also think you would enjoy the Chalk Talk thinking routine in the book Making Thinking Visible. Have you any experience with thinking routines? 

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