Creative Listening

We connect with people through listening.  When we interrupt another’s story to tell our own, we shift the focus of attention to ourselves.  I’m certainly guilty of doing this at times.  On occasion, I get excited about what I have to say; I begin sharing my story before the other person finishes theirs. This interrupts the flow and changes the connection dynamic, prematurely putting the focus on me.  I’m working hard at becoming a better listener.

I found ten great listening points on Creative Listening by Wilferd A. Peterson. They provide profound insight into creative listening.

How do you score yourself against these listening criteria?

Inspired by – Wilferd A. Peterson

One of the most important habits of a creative thinker is to be a good listener.  Stand guard at the ear-gateway to your mind, heart, and spirit.
Listen to the good. Tune your ears to love, hope, and courage.  Tune out gossip and resentment.
Listen to the beautiful. Listen to the music of the masters.  Listen to the symphony of nature–the hum of the wind in the treetops, bird songs, thundering surf. . .
Listen critically. Mentally challenge assertions, ideas, and philosophies.  Seek the truth with an open mind.
Listen with patience. Do not hurry the other person.   Show them the courtesy of listening to what they have to say, no matter how much you may disagree.  You may learn something.
Listen with your heart. Practice empathy when you listen.  Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
Listen for growth. Be an inquisitive listener.  Ask questions.  Everyone has something to say which will help you to grow.
Listen creatively. Listen for ideas or the germs of ideas.  Listen for hints or clues that may spark creative projects.
Listen to yourself. Listen to your deepest yearnings, your highest aspirations, your noblest impulses.  Listen to the better person within you.
Listen with depth. Be still and listen.  Listen with the ear of intuition to the inspiration of the Infinite.

Photography by Ann Tran

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11 Replies to “Creative Listening

  1. These beautiful images and thoughtful messages slow us down enough to fully be with the person telling their story, instead of shifting back into the monkey in our own head. The connection runs deep and we will learn more about ourself and others by developing these techniques. Blessings, Debby

  2. Great thoughts, really important – I just posted about listening on my blog last night (wait, I just did the same thing you talked about in your opening paragraph! Oops!)

    The same rules apply online – thank you again for sharing!

  3. Yes, the art of listening is to hear what the other person is saying and what she is not saying? Quite often, people are too busy to think what to answer back and concentrate of listening, or most young ones can hear only the 1st sentence!

  4. Well written and you got TWO VERY BIG THUMBS UP from my wife and she said… “Maybe you’ll listen to her, since things seem to flow through one ear and out the other faster then you could shut up,”

    I just thought you might like this… You’ve got another fan!

  5. This is why we have TWO ears and ONE mouth. We should all listen 2x more than we talk…and I never learned anything by talking. Great photos by the way…

  6. What an inspiring message! I do find it hard to listen with patience when I disagree and not interrupt at some point. And sometimes listening to yourself and taking action on what you hear may be difficult.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      Yes, I am still working on it myself, it is difficult at times when your emotions get in the way. ツ


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