Listening

Let’s look at three levels of listening.

Level one is subjective listening – this mode of listening is all about the needs or agenda of the listener. The listener relates everything said back to themselves. Someone who listens at this level rarely maintains eye contact and seems constantly distracted and uninterested unless you’re talking about them or their agenda. The speaker feels slighted and used by the listener.

Level two is objective listening – the listener hears the speaker. There is no agenda of the listener. The speaker will feel like they have been heard, but not necessarily understood. There’s something more.

Level three is intuitive listening – at this level the listener is listening to all the components of the speaker. The listener is paying attention to sensory queues such as energy, emotions, tone and volume fluctuations of the speaker. The listener is also hearing what isn’t being said. This level is the most effective and powerful type of listening. The speaker walks away feeling like they were understood, that the listener knew exactly what was being said and how it was being said.

What level are you listening at most of the time?

What level do you want to be listening at?

So many times when I am speaking/teaching I notice there are people who are not even listening. They are either toying with a coffee cup, looking at something else, cell phone?, talking with someone else, and many other distracting things, but definitely not listening to the teaching. I have brought sessions to a close if I note too much of this kind of behavior, for there is no need to waste each other’s time. Obviously, they have other things on their minds, or they could be just preoccupied.

The subject of listening is always a good one. The old people would not tolerate such behavior and would speak to it, from children or adults. Ceremonial teachings were important to the Neshnabek and anytime an elder addressed something of that type of importance, folks were expected to listen and pay attention.

Iw enajmoyan,

Nin se Neaseno.

Author: neaseno

I was born on Powers Bluff in Wood County, Wisconsin, into a traditional community of Neshnabek. I was raised speaking only native languages, and learned to speak English upon entering school at the age of 6. As of this writing, I am one of 5 remaining Heritage Fluent Speakers of Potawatomi.

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