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When Silence Can Be the Key to Listening Deeply

Posted on May 05 2012 under Blog Posts

In today’s world, when are we not stressed out by things that happen in our everyday life? Do you find yourself feeling anxious reflecting on the important conversations you need to have but can’t because of the stress? Are there times when your stress levels prevent you from concentrating and listening to others? For many of us, the bad economy has positioned us to be on full-time stress alert taking our attention away from the things that matter most…our families, relationships, and our own health. Right now, people need to feel heard and understood; and yet, the overwhelming stress can prevent us from being effective listeners.
When you are not an effective listener there are things that you miss out on. Sometimes those things can be as significant as missing the time schedule to pick up your kids up from school to your work deadline for a special project. Either way becoming an effective listener can be difficult and takes lots of work especially in times of stress.
I know this from personal experience. My child’s father and I found it real difficult to listen to each other when it came to discussing matters about our daughter. There were times I felt he would hear the first ten minutes of the conversation and block out the last twenty minutes. This would cause us to bump heads on every decision that was needed to be made for our daughter. As time progressed, we both realized it wasn’t the fact that we could not talk to each other, but the fact that we were not listening to each other.

We all participate in selective hearing, and it can cause us to miss out on important things. If you would like to know more about learning different techniques to become an effective listener, listen to The New Trend in Listening: How to Improve Your Communication Skills and Enrich Relationships with Susan Young, President of Get In Front Communications.

Authored by Andrea Williams
Graduate Student Intern


4 Replies to “When Silence Can Be the Key to Listening Deeply”

  1. Jodi Bakken said on June 1st, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    It’s amazing how somebody can say something and another person can something entirely different from the actual spoken words. Communication can be so complex since it involves body language, inflection, past experiences, etc. Really listening is definitely a great skill to have and to work on improving.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Jodi Bakken

  2. Thank you Jodi for listening to the show and sharing your feedback. I appreciate it.

  3. Andrea,
    I was just speaking to a colleague this morning about the power of silence. It is so difficult to say nothing, wait to respond. We all race to think of the appropriate response to what someone is saying. Sometimes silence allows a thought to sink in or germinate and is more effective then answering off the top of ones head. Great points about listening and your title is perfect. Sometimes Silence is Golden in mediation

  4. Thanks Debra for visiting our site and reading Andrea’s post. We have so many great topics and can’t wait to add your category on pets.

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