Sunday, October 10, 2010

Active listening: selective perception and tunnelvision

Many people think that active listening is listening with care and attention, and drawing conclusions right on the spot, so good advice can be given.

But it doesn't do right to what the speaker is saying, because we limit our frame of mind.. because we listen with a frame of mind.

That means that we sort the information we get into streams that fit our thinking processes.
That means in fact that what fits into those streams of thought is heard and many other things are not perceived.
One calles it selective listening: sorting out what's needed, what fits.
And the result: tunnelvision (yes, it's called that way when you're listening too.)
Everything that's outside the streams of thoughts is not perceived.

Sometimes this is a conscious process. When we're studying, or writing a paper, we only need certain information.

But when you're reseraching, examining, assessing or just listening well, you're not doing justice to the person.
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