Designed for people to gather and listen, the small amphitheater by the river at Boise State University hosts a variety of events from concerts, to poetry readings, and everything in-between.
Hearing is passive. We hear dogs bark, tires squeal, birds chirp, church bells ring, and the deep-throated rumble of the furnace coming to life on a winter morning. In a conversation, someone who’s hearing instead of listening is oftentimes busy formulating their own response.
Listening is active. It’s something we do on purpose; something we invest ourself in. A typical investor expects an ROI — a return on their investment.
Generally speaking, there are four types of listeners:
- Analytical — possibly skeptical, they question and evaluate what’s being said.
- Driver — results oriented, they listen with an ear to “How can I incorporate this information?”
- Amiable — rapt with attention, they often smile with encouragement, urging the speaker to continue.
- Expressive — potential interrupters, these listeners enjoy being involved and can hardly wait to share their response.
Regardless of listening style, when we invest in active listening, the benefit (return) is an enriched life with enhanced relationships and an expanded capacity for compassion.
What’s your listening style?
© Laurie Buchanan