Channel 2 Listening

images-1Have you ever wondered what the differences are between hearing and listening? For me hearing is a biological act of ensuring safety. We hear the sound of our dog barking which alerts us to a stranger at the door. The honking car alerts us to look out!  We hear the tick of the clock, the hum of the dishwasher but we quickly stop listening because we label it as noise. Hearing is performed mostly in our sub-conscious.

When we listen we engage our brain to connect with others; we are able to obtain a deeper understanding of another’s views, values, thoughts, and dreams. When we actively listen, we tap into our senses; we can feel, see, and at times taste what the other person is sharing. You know what I mean…your mouth waters when someone shares a detailed story about a great sounding meal.

Listening is a conscience effort that takes focus and hard work but the payoff is immeasurable!!!

imagesThere is an analogy called channel 1 and channel 2 listening which helps us to understand the power of deep listening.

Channel 1 listening is when we listen to respond – I’ve also heard it called STAN listening (Sh*t, That, Ain’t Nothin’!)  Most of us practice channel one listening within our career and our relationships. We listen so that we can tell our own story, perspective, or opinion. We all know people who when we are done speaking they share a bigger more inflated story to trump ours.

Channel 2 listening is very different from channel 1 listening. Channel 2 is empathic listening.

Did you know that 55% of our communication is conveyed through our body language, 38% through the tone of our voice, and only 7% of communication is the actual words we speak. That means that 93% of all communication is exchanged non-verbally! The first time I heard these stats I thought to myself so that’s why Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus! 🙂 If we aren’t good at reading these queues we may be missing some of the intended message. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.

images-2Channel 2 listening is the ability to consciously be aware of our own bias’ and judgments; to be present by mentally removing distractions around us. It is maintaining eye contact, keeping an open mind, and not jump to conclusions as someone is talking. It is also the ability to maintain a curious mindset so our questions can continue dialogue and deepen our understanding of what the other person is intending to convey.

One of the most sincere forms of respect a person can give is to actually listen to what another person has to say.  I believe this is true.

Join me in giving the gift of channel 2 conscience listening with every interaction. 


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