I was reminded recently of the importance of listening
THE ART OF LISTENING
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand – they listen with the intent to reply”. Roy Bennett.
My dear friend Claudia, actress and theatre director – listening. – charcoal
I watched a superb episode of ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ this week featuring Dame Judi Dench.
I have always enjoyed her as an amazing actress but what struck me during this programme was the way she listened so intently to whoever was speaking to her. She not only listened but also made constant eye contact.
Aged 86, I was struck with how beautiful she continues to be. So much of her beauty comes from her ability to be present for others using both her listening skills and her eyes to communicate.
My friend Charlotte fully present and listening…..
Tony is a therapist which means his life is all about listening to others. He and I have been good friends for a long time. It occurred to me after watching Dame Judi Dench, that one of the reasons Tony and I continue to be such good friends is because he is such a good listener.
I know how frustrating it is to be in the company of those who keep interrupting and so to have a friend like Tony is very special..
I am also fully aware that I don’t always listen as well as I should….but I work on it. When I find myself wanting to jump into the conversation so that I can be heard, I step back and stay quiet for a while. Not only does this give the conversation an opportunity to flow, but I inevitably end up learning something.
Tony – The Listener – oil on canvas
“Listen with your eyes as well as your ears” – Graham Speechley
In this portrait of my friend Fran – she is listening to the unseen energy surrounding her….Sometimes we don’t need someone talking with us to listen intently.
‘One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say’. Bryant H McGill
Patricia – French actress and such a wonderful listener.
I am a teacher and am very aware of how much is missed by not listening.
I would also suggest that putting aside all distractions – i.e. mobile phones is a very good first step to effective listening.
I hope you get to see the Dame Judi Dench – Who Do You Think You Are episode. It’s wonderful..