By James Bach
I’m tired of hearing the simplistic advice about how to listen one must not talk. That’s not what listening means. I listen by reacting. As an extravert, I react partly by talking. Talking is how I chew on what you’ve told me. If I don’t chew on what you say, I will choke or get tummy aches and nightmares. You don’t want me to have nightmares, do you? Until you interrupt me to say otherwise, I charitably assume you don’t.
Below is an alternative theory of listening; one that does not require passivity. I will show how this theory is consistent the “don’t talk” advice if you consider that being quiet while other people speak is oneheuristic of good listening, rather than the definition or foundation of it. I am tempted to say that listening requires talking, but that is not quite true. This is my proposal of a universal truth of listening:Listening requires you to change
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