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On Listening


One of our associates, Keith Gregory, collects inspirational quotes and has been sending them out in occasional emails to his friends and acquaintances ever since I've known him. This morning, quote number 428 arrived in my inbox: “Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.” ~ Karl A. Menniger

One of our associates, KeithGregory, collects inspirational quotes and has been sending them outin occasional emails to his friends and acquaintances ever since I've knownhim. This morning, quote number 428 arrived in my inbox: 

  • “Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, acreative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we arelistened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.” ~ Karl A.Menniger

I love this quote and immediately added it to myown collection of quotes - ones that are in some way related to Clean Language- and then I got to thinking that instead of hoarding all these quotes in casethey come in useful some day (I have a big 'just in case' pattern), I couldstart sharing them. Inspired by this quote, I chose the topic of listening, sohere are 24 more quotes about listening. And if you have any more, please doadd them to the comments section below.

  1. "Our primary call is to be listeners atthe heart of our world." ~ Diarmuid O'Murchu

  2. "The quality of your attention determinesthe quality of other peoples’ thinking." ~ Nancy Kline

  3. "Listening to people helps them pour outa little of their current thinking so they can make room for new thinking.There are even times when listening does all the work. When you listen deeplyto someone, they listen to themselves and sometimes that alone is enough tochange their minds." ~ Annette Simmons

  4. "What people really need is a goodlistening to." ~ Mary Lou Casey

  5. "To listen well, is as powerful a meansof influence as to talk well, and is as essential to all trueconversation." ~ Chinese Proverb

  6. "Listening is such a simple act. Itrequires us to be present, and that takes practice, but we don't have to doanything else. We don't have to advise, or coach, or sound wise. We just haveto be willing to sit there and listen." ~ Margaret Wheatley

  7. "One of the best ways to persuade othersis with your ears – by listening to them." ~ Dean Rusk

  8. "The most basic and powerful way toconnect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most importantthing we ever give each other is our attention." ~ Rachel NaomiRemen

  9. "Your understanding of another person islimited by what you think you already know. So when you just listen, the personyou meet won't match your preconception. The exciting thing is that you usuallymeet someone much wiser and kinder than you expected. You might also lose trackof your ideas about who you are." ~ Byron Katie

  10. "All of us need better skills inlistening, conversing, respecting one another's uniqueness, because these areessential for strong relationships." ~ Margaret Wheatley

  11. "I listen a lot and talk less. You can'tlearn anything while you're talking." ~ Bing Crosby

  12. "One friend, one person who is trulyunderstanding, who takes the trouble to listen to us as we consider ourproblems, can change our whole outlook on the world." ~ EltonMayo 

  13. "The human soul doesn’t want to be fixed,it simply wants to be seen and heard. The soul is like a wild animal – tough,resilient and shy. When we go crashing through the woods shouting for it tocome out so we can help it, the soul will stay in hiding. But if we are willingto sit quietly and wait for a while, the soul may show itself." ~ ParkerJ. Palmer

  14. "The greatest gift you can give anotheris the purity of your attention." ~ Richard Moss

  15. "The quieter you become, the more you areable to hear." ~ Baba Ram Dass

  16. "Silence is one of the great arts ofconversation." ~ Cicero

  17. "Attentive listening means giving one’stotal and undivided attention to the other person and tells the other that weare interested and concerned. Listening is difficult work that we will notundertake unless we have deep respect and care for the other ... we listen notonly with our ears, but with our eyes, mind, heart and imagination, as well ….We listen to the words of the other, but we also listen to the messages buriedin the words. We listen to the voice, the appearance, and the body language ofthe other .... We simply try to absorb everything the speaker is sayingverbally and nonverbally without adding, subtracting, or amending."~ Carl Rogers

  18. "You can learn to be a better listener,but learning it is not like learning a skill that is added to what we know. Itis a peeling away of things that interfere with listening, our preoccupations,our fear, of how we might respond to what we hear." ~ IanMcWhinney

  19. "When people talk, listen completely.Most people never listen." ~ Ernest Hemingway

  20. "This is the problem with dealing withsomeone who is actually a good listener. They don’t jump in on your sentences,saving you from actually finishing them, or talk over you, allowing what you domanage to get out to be lost or altered in transit. Instead, they wait, so youhave to keep going." ~ Sarah Dessen

  21. "Most people do not listen with theintent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply." ~ StevenR. Covey

  22. "The most basic of all human needs is theneed to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is tolisten to them." ~ Ralph G. Nichols

  23. "Listening is not merely not talking,though even that is beyond most of our powers; it means taking a vigorous,human interest in what is being told us. You can listen like a blank wall orlike a splendid auditorium where every sound comes back fuller andricher." ~ Alice Duer Miller

  24. "Listeningeffectively to others can be the most fundamental and powerful communicationtool of all. When someone is willing to stop talking or thinking and begintruly listening to others, all of their interactions become easier, andcommunication problems are all but eliminated." ~ Ken Johnson

About Marian Way

Marian Way's avatar

A highly skilled facilitator and trainer, Marian, who founded Clean Learning in 2001, has developed and delivered training across the world. She is the author of Clean Approaches for Coaches, co-author, with James Lawley, of Insights in Space and co-author, with Caitlin Walker, of So you want to be… #DramaFree.

Marian is an expert Clean facilitator, an adept modeller, a programme writer and an inspirational trainer. She has a natural ability to model existing structures, find the connections between them and design new ways for people to learn. Marian was a leading innovator within the Weight Watchers organisation, which included developing the “points” strategy, a local idea that went on to become a global innovation. She is a director of both Clean Learning and Training Attention CIC, world leaders in clean applications for corporate, educational and community development. She designs our programmes and workbooks, leads workshops and teaches on all our courses. She’s trained people in Great Britain, Russia, Sweden, Germany, Australia, Japan and the USA. Marian is also a recognised Clean Assessor.

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