Listening: In the beginning…

By Michael Semon

July 1, 2015

couple, hearing, humility, listening, marriage, partner, relationships

Relationships begin with listening? An older lady came into the office and as we began our first session, I asked her what she wanted from her visit. She said, I want my husband to listen to me. I asked her to clarify her definition of “listening.” Very seriously she said, “Well, obviously just do what I say.” Obviously, we had completely different definitions of listening.

Listening is emptying yourself of your agenda to hear and know your partner. It has three components: (1) Emptying Yourself; (2) Your Agenda; (3) To Hear and Know Your Partner.

(1) Emptying Yourself. The first step to listen more effectively involves humility. Emptying yourself is releasing your assumptions about your partner to receive what he or she is saying. If you assume you know what your partner is going to say, you may be wrong.

(2) Your Agenda. While every person in a relationship has a different agenda, common thought processes associated with each person’s agenda prevent listening. The most common thought process that must be released has to do with fairness or what you believe you deserve from your partner. Holding onto what you “deserve” from your partner is another word for entitlement and eliminates gratitude for your partner.

(3) To Hear and Know Your Partner. The only way to know your partner is to hear your partner. Relationships begin with listening as each person hears what their partner says, but more importantly learns who he or she is as a person. If hearing is contaminated by your assumptions and agenda you may not know your partner over time.

Below are two video’s I’ve completed on listening. The first video explores the concept of emptying yourself and how humility plays an important part in listening, while the second video focuses on the agenda’s we hold to and how they can prevent hearing and knowing your partner. Hope they help you listen.

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