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The Heart of Listening

 I learned the techniques associated with “active listening” in college:

   1. focus on the conversation and put other thoughts and concern  

      on the back burner

  2. eliminate or minimize interruptions

  3. take notes (mentality and physically)

  4. keep an open mind (avoid judgment and conclusion before 

      hearing the full scenario)

  5. using positive gestures and body language as well as be aware

      of the body language of others involved

  6. summarize/restate key points to ascertain understanding

 Admittedly, I have embraced (and performed) these techniques in both my professional and personal life. But, there is one critical element that, in my opinion, is required to successfully perform these techniques and achieve the desired results of fully comprehending the message and therefore knowing how to use the information, what or if any action is necessary and determining the best course of action. This element is an unselfish heart – compassionate, caring, patient and cognizant that we are all flawed; therefore willing to truly hear the full story before making a decision or a judgment.