This is the Post for March 11, 2014.  I will be traveling on that day.

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t being said.  The art of reading between the lines is the life long quest of the wise.

Shannon L. Adler

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Amen.  Listening pays off, especially if you have a keen counter-intuitive instinct, a critical ear and enough life experience from which you have not run.  Embracing life makes one a better listener.  One who is present to others hears what they say and what they say by other means – silence included.

Look around the room, who seems content to listen carefully?  Who is alert?  This is the wise one.  He or she hears what is not said and knows, from that, what is said.  That one is more likely to decipher what is in the Spirit, in the deeps.

The art of receiving others is in listening and memory – remembering what was said, what verb was used, what adjective employed – how the voice was intoned and the posture presented, what the eyes did – what was omitted, emphasized …

Assess what is taken in and you will know more than was intended, even more than the speaker consciously knows or intended for you to know.  In this listening, the unconscious content of another is heard, becomes known to you.

Self-promoters do not make good listeners.  They are too insecure to listen to others, too panicked that they may not get their way, be acclaimed.  Their life is one of insecurity, neither listening nor speaking honestly.

The political arena is full of self-promoters.  They cannot lead.  They value no one but them.  The retiring and quiet voice delivers, in its security, wisdom.  Teach yourself to tell who actually has something to say, is worth listening too because they actually share an insight that you did not realize, that is new to you.  You can cast your lot with one such as this.  The others?  Dismiss them quickly.  There are many who deserve to be dismissed.

When you get poor leaders it is frequently because people are poor listeners. Silence makes one a better listener, and wiser as well.  The chattering class is to be ignored.

The beginning of wisdom is silence.  The second step is listening.

Shalom.

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