Listening without evaluation

Silence by Philip Dodson

A wise person said ‘the highest form of intelligence is to be able to listen without evaluation’.

We all seek to be understood and to be able to listen empathetically is a challenge.

The key to it is being able to be disconnected from our mindstreams and that requires us to be conscious and present in the moment.

When we are awake, we simply witness our thoughts and do not energise them, that means there is space to listen, without the mind wanting to reply, fix, show off that we know the right advice, tell our story, which the person we are listening to doesn’t want to hear. They want us to listen and understand them.

Listening is not a pause for us to prepare our next sentence, it is a space to hear and without judgement be fully aware of the other person’s words and to attempt to understand them.

The temptation to fix

When someone close to you is suffering, or perhaps in your opinion, not making the right choices, then there is a well-intentioned temptation to fix them.

We base a good deal of this on our own experiences in life and feel the need to impart our lessons to others, as Stephen Covey would say, in an autobiographical way.

However, others rarely want to hear our stories versus being able to tell theirs. They even more rarely want you to tryto fix them, especially as most often the case is, we haven’t even listened to them. We’ve simply based our ideas looking at it through our lens, so entirely from our perspective.

We all have uniquely different journeys and sets of experiences and the only way we can even provide any useful advice is to first listen and understand and secondly avoid the ‘well, when I was doing…’ type of advice.

People aren’t broken, listen without judgement and with empathy to understand them and give advice if asked.

Washing machines and cars need fixing not people.