In this world of Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and IPhones we presume we communicate all the time - we voice opinions ,comment on  blogs, text each other to the point of sore thumbs .but do we listen ?
'Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you'd have preferred to talk." --Doug Larson
There are occasions my daughter will say ''Are you listening or just waiting to have your say?'' ...and she's right at these times - because I am only focused on my opinion , my views. I am not known for having an opinion as this post explains but occasionally ....and then I get excited about it and want to express it . I don't consider the other person because I'm so focused on...Me!

"One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say." --Bryant H. McGill
Other times I listen and am amazed at what personal information, wonderful anecdotes are disclosed because I am actively listening, showing an interest . I remember whilst working in Dementia  Care the amazing stories that came forth as I assembled person centred care plans :
*The once independent lady who travelled the world alone and even turned down a marriage proposal from the love of her life because she feared it would halt her travelling.
*The foul mouthed ,bearded husband who occasionally declined personal care whose wife said
''He hated men who swore especially in front of women and loathed facial hair - he always had a manicure set on side table in sitting room and constantly checked his nails''

"The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said" --Peter Drucker
My daughter will sometimes say ''I don't need an answer - I just want to talk'' and it is through that simple sentence that we have deepened our relationship. It has allowed us both to get to know each other- and I feel privileged. As she says in this post 'It takes both sides to build a bridge' and listening has played an important in our relationship.
Sometimes when I visit my sister she talks incessantly (especially about work and her cat) and it is only when I'm walking home do I realise that the whole of the visit centred on her conversation- and, at times, I am guilty of lengthening the time between visits because of this- deep down I am aware she prefers not to socialise outside work so Facebook and I are her way of communicating-though I don't appreciate the photo's of the cats latest kill !

"We have two ears and one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less." --Diogenes
People are different .We may not hold the same beliefs or opinions as someone but by not listening you are disrespecting that person may change your opinion or theirs......if you listen.
If we don't listen to other people we may miss out or misinterpret information
My Grandchildren are home educated and when the subject is mentioned there are some people who do not  listen to my Daughter or my Son In Law preferring to look for  negatives or just ignore the subject completely.

One of the oldest known listening games is Chinese Whispers ( otherwise known as Telephone) -the game has no winner but is a demonstration of how information can be misinterpreted/corrupted  due to listening to and relating a simple message. However , it is believed to have a positive effect for anyone learning a foreign language, where the challenge of speaking comprehensibly, and understanding  is more difficult because of the low volume, and hence a greater mastery of the fine points of pronunciation is required.

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