As teachers, we know that students are not always ready to hear what we say. Therefore, we explain things over and over again, trying to use different words each time in order to give everybody a chance to hear and understand what we are explaining. During my last interview, the teacher I interviewed said: "I always give several images because everyone has his own image to the image I give. We need to allow space."
So, not everybody hears and sees the same way we hear and see. But during our research, how can we help ourselves to clearly hear and see? How do I make sure that I listen AND hear?
I noticed that those past weeks, I hear things related to my topic all the time. I didn't hear them before, because I wasn't looking for it. But I also noticed that now, I only hear what I am looking for.
This morning, I did some reading about 'listening skills', and I guess what I do is called 'filtered listening' or 'evaluative listening'. And I believe we all do it.
When I introduced my topic yesterday evening during our monthly skype chat, somebody responded straight away, but changed the topic. My concern was listened to, but not really heard. My fellow student filtered my concern because she has wanted to address a similar concern. The result: we didn't really talk about the topic I introduced. I wasn't upset or disappointed because the event itself gave me a lot of information about the issue of listening and hearing and helped me understand something important: Listening is a skill. But how do we train this skill?
E.C.L. Goh writes in her article 'Integrating Mindfulness and Reflection in the Teaching and Learning of Listening Skills for Undergraduate Social Work Students in Singapore' that if we really wanna hear, or listen actively, we must put aside our own concerns. In order to do so, it is important to first listen to ourselves. When we hear somebody talk, we have an inner dialogue that we can listen to in order to identify possible thoughts that hinder us to really hear the other.
I believe that by doing so, we could have more profound discussions about a topic and it would help us stay connected and open.