Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The difference between hearing and listening

Coach Jeff Fisher, NFL Tennessee Titans Posted by Hello

When I am engaged in a mentoring relationship, I work hard at being intentional in listening AND understanding. Even of greater value is making an investment in with our loved ones -- re: my wife, son and daughter -- by truly listening and asking, "Help Me Understand." Three powerful words that show honor and places great value on what is being communicated. I know that as men, we are wired to always want to provide a solution without listening. Most of the time, our family aren't necessary looking for a solution; just a listening ear and a open heart. If we could truly grasp both skill sets of listening AND understanding exceedingly well, we will become rich in wisdom and relationships will flourish.

Here's a commentary from the University of Minnesota Student Handbook -

Do you think there is a difference between hearing and listening? You are right, there is! Hearing is simply the act of perceiving sound by the ear. If you are not hearing-impaired, hearing simply happens. Listening, however, is something you consciously choose to do. Listening requires concentration so that your brain processes meaning from words and sentences. Listening leads to learning.
Most people tend to be "hard of listening" rather than "hard of hearing."
Good words of wisdom!

Now, let's enter Jeff Fisher's world.

Titans Coach Jeff Fisher, center, was born without the canal in his right ear and is 90 percent deaf in that ear. Posted by Hello

"I have always been a proponent of listening, and the difference between hearing and listening. And hearing, 'I've got you coach,' where it goes in one ear and out the other, and listening where you really take the time to hear what's being said and concentrate and retain,' Fisher said.

A few years back Fisher invited a group of hearing-impaired children to meet with his players...."Even though the kids that came out and talked could not hear, they listened to every single thing that was said through their interpreter because their lives depend on their ability to listen rather than just hear. It was a great way of making the point to the players that you just can't take anything for granted."

link: Fisher at peace with quiet

The Bible talks about King Solomon: God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. Solomon's wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the men of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt...

The Bible addresses the value of listening: Proverbs 4:20 “My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings.”

Solomon appeals to his son to give attention – to pay attention – to give his words weight and value -and he will do this by opening his ears to listen carefully and thoughtfully to what he has to say which leads to the moral benefits of Wisdom as described in Proverbs 2:

My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding
and if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.
For the LORD gives wisdom,
and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Help me understand - I'm listening!


Anonymous said...

great blog today! always very important to listen and not just hear. hard to do, but necessary!

Anonymous said...

I am zeroing in to be very intentional especially at work - listening increases productivity as well... don't you hate it when people tune you out because they're busy figuring out what to say next!