Chris Markiewicz's Blog
Every Monday – thoughts, observations and ideas that hold up a mirror to who & how we are

The missing skill

How many of us spent our school days being told to sit up and listen?

What if, instead we had been taught to listen?

I don’t simply mean nominal written comprehension tests or repeating back by rote what the teacher had said. I mean real, genuine listening in order to fully understand the other person.

If this were on the curriculum for all children at some point in their school lives, I wonder how different wider society might be as a result?

The training  that  I conduct in interpersonal skills usually involves my running listening exercises with a view to demonstrating the power of listening and the real benefits it can bring to any interaction or relationship. Course participants are often astonished by the insights gained.  Yet, as I do this work, part of me wonders whether it is too little, too late. How many of the world’s current woes exist purely because of underuse or misuse of this most precious of skills?

Much of what is taught in our educational establishments is of value – although not all! And, I’d say that overlooking the teaching of this particular skill leaves a massive chasm which leads our youngsters, and most of us before them, into a way of engaging with the world which fuels misunderstanding, tensions, conflict and potential ultimate breakdown.

Not great.

What if an integral part of the curriculum involved sessions on how to listen in a heartfelt and non-judgmental way?  I believe things would then be so very different.





2 Responses to “The missing skill”

  1. Short but very much to to the point.
    Let’s solve the world’s problems with pint sized messages.

  2. And Michael, perhaps those pint sized messages will make it easier for others to listen! Clarity of message is probably equally important.

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