When was the last time you really felt love? That feeling you had when you first experienced someone liking you in middle school or the first time you made a basket or heard a symphony orchestra. It seems that we don’t feel that very often as we become busier, more stressed and more dependent on text, email and posts for a sense of love and belonging. Be honest, how many times have you sent a text to someone in your own house? Does that feel like love?
Over the past few weeks I have been attending a Love Class led by Richard Brendan, based on the original Love Class started by Leo Buscaglia in the 1970s. Leo distributed a survey that asked the questions: What are the three qualities of primary relationships which were most enhancing to continued growth in love and most destructive to growing, loving relationship. The overwhelming results were that the #1 positive quality was communication and the #1 negative quality was a lack of communication.
One of the keys to learning emotion intelligence, (yes, unlike cognitive intelligence, it must be learned) is the ability to communicate. Listening is the most important element!
In his book, Loving Each Other, Leo Buscaglia writes;
“I recently discovered that the average speaker can utter 125 words per minute. The listener can process about 400-600 words per minute. True listening is determined by how we decide to use the intervals.”
There are three ways the listener can choose uses those “intervals”.
- Subjective listening: The listener remains attached to his or her own agenda and thoughts while appearing to be listening to the person speaking. In other words, “keep talking while I formulate my brilliant come back to show off my wit and intelligence!”
- Objective listening: The listener is focused on the speaker but the words do not make an impression. Usual response, “That’s interesting.” followed by roaming eyes and a shifty body movements, maybe even a glance at their cell phone!
- Intuitive Listening: The listener is tuned into all the sensory components and actively connects with the speaker’s real message. The listener can hear between the words being used and gain a deep insight into the picture being drawn by the speaker.
When it comes to speaking face to face, the words only account for 7% of the impact, the inflection and tone of voice , 38% and body language 55%. We are missing so much information by not seeing the person we are connecting with.
Everywhere I go, restaurants, movies, outdoor events, EVERYWHERE, people are glued to their devices. What is the quality of our communication? Are we digressing in our quest for greater emotional intelligence? No matter how many emails, texts, FB friends and posts I receive each day, there is still a feeling of loneliness and emptiness that is best filled by sharing real space with a real person that is a good listener!
(anonymous)When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving advice, you have not done what I asked.
When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings.
When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problems, you have failed me, strange as that may seem.
Perhaps that is why prayer works for some people.
God is mute and He doesn’t offer advice or try to fix things.
He just listens and trusts you to work it out for yourself.
So please, just listen and hear me. And if you want to talk, wait a few minutes for your turn and I promise I’ll listen to you.