Posted November 3, 2021 by Mark Perna
Episode Title: Active Listening And Why To Do It
If you’re hitting a wall with the young people in your life, have you tried active listening? Let’s talk about what that means, next on The Perna Syndicate.
Ep 323 show:
Welcome to the Perna Syndicate! As we’ve discussed earlier this week, young people are often silently asking three questions: Do you see me? Do you hear me? Do I matter? Today I’d like us to consider the second question: Do you hear me?
Oftentimes, we listen only to formulate a response. While the other person is talking, we’re already putting together a reply in our heads, just waiting for them to stop so we can have our turn. This might be an effective way to argue, but it’s not a great way to listen.
Maybe you’re not doing that, but your listening style is passive. Maybe your attention is divided, you’re distracted. But active listening is the opposite of passive hearing.
Active listeners are patient; they don’t rush in to fill silences. They’re neutral and non-judgmental, no matter what the other person reveals. They ask questions. They pay attention to body language and other nonverbal clues to gain the fullest understanding of what the other person is communicating.
And active listening isn’t just in the moment when someone is speaking to you. Being an active listener means that later on, you take time to reflect on what the other person said. You go over it in your mind and consider not just what was said, but sometimes, what wasn’t.
Active listening requires time, energy, and attention—things that are in short supply for many of us. But that’s all the more reason why they’re so meaningful. Young people will never have to wonder if we hear them when we listen actively.
On our next episode, we’re going to answer the final question that young people are asking: do I matter? We’ll see you back here tomorrow on The Perna Syndicate. Take care!