Quality Care Listening

Listening is an active process that involves receiving aural stimuli. It encompasses five stages. They include receiving, understanding, remembering, evaluating, and responding. As one can see, this process is extremely complex. Since the vast majority of communication processes involve stimuli. Active Listening requires more than simply gathering information. Emotions can also curb how effective listening is. A good example of this occurred yesterday. I was practicing driving skills in the subdivision where I live. The passenger instructing me was taking pictures with a camera to bring to a meeting that we had to attend later. As he was taking pictures, he would tell me where to turn and where he wanted me to stop. While driving, I was trying to listen to his comments and take directions. This was difficult for me because at one point he was so deeply involved with taking pictures that he communicated a wrong turn to me. Immediately after I made the opposite turn, he abruptly apologized. It so easy to confuse hearing with listening. Even more maddening is the process of listening to a viewpoint when one has strong opposing sentiment. This person may without notice make a biased solution statement that if left un-evaluated makes a problem worse. It is better to practice empathy when dealing with such situations. This empathy can over time curb the need to make snap judgements about a situation without having substantial information. What’s interesting to note is that much of what we think we know about a situation is incomplete. Often it takes the information that another bring to the table to help an otherwise murky circumstance pan out for the best.

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