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​On reflection and re-education through listening training...

Written by D.R., General Director of a small enterprise

On reflection and re-education through listening training… 

For the past 20 years, I’ve been a business consultant, speaker, from time to time a teacher, conference leader, adult education specialist, artist. My fields of activity are communication, marketing, team management…the creation of products, of businesses… 

I’ve always sung off key, I have trouble following conversations in English, meetings bore me, I don't hear notes played off key…at least, that’s what I believed. 

For a long time, I’ve had the impression that nobody listened, heard, understood. 

You’re right. What a nightmare! 

But not really, because we live easily with our habits and our little faults…certainly when…: we’re persuaded that we’re speaking the truth, we think we sometimes reveal exactly the true nature of things, we emphasize what we’ve said to make sure we’ve said it well. I’ll skip the details. 

So, after hearing my wife repeat that I never listen to anything…an old complaint we men have long heard, after noticing that my colleagues at work heard, understood and reacted positively to my words, after accepting that my clients heard some things but not others…I asked myself some questions about my communications ability, and said to myself… 

Let’s begin at the beginning. In communications, there’s a transmitter and a receiver. I’m both at the same time, and there’s also the other person…therefore…I’ll find a way to measure both…and improve both. I knew the TOMATIS method, and after a few minutes surfing the internet, I found Sophie Garceau’s address (Le Centre de l’Écoute de Montréal). 

After a first evaluation that allowed me to measure my weaknesses, I followed her method, her advice, and I re-educated my ears and my voice.

I needed to get it right, to sound the right note, but that really had other advantages. 

Thanks to my job, I know that going back to first principles, reflecting within yourself, is absolutely necessary to improve, to deepen understanding, to grow, to succeed in life. So I was going to pass on to others what I had applied to myself. 

In doing that exercise of reflection and re-education (the listening training program), I found that I heard perfectly what people told me, I found that I could sing the right tune, because to listen others you sometimes have to listen to yourself. And when I say listen…I mean to understand yourself, to advise yourself. Huge program, but what results! 

After 3 months of work, I found I was really expressing emotions and hard facts precisely.

For example:
-I no longer doubt what I have just said. It’s as if I’m listening to myself better.
-I have a new confidence in my manner of expression; this makes my communication with others very much different.
-When I’m arguing, I no longer doubt that what I’m saying is right. I can also, by that fact, identify the contradictions in the statements of others.
-I’m aware that others hear the words but not necessarily the sentences, ideas and concepts behind the information.
-I perceive that many people don’t listen. They believe they’re heard, but they’ve filtered, deconstructed, interpreted, in effect they’ve heard your sound but not your thoughts. They speak the language of their problem, they transform your sound with their problems, even their pathology functions as a filter. A very egotistical person will always find an interpretation that will satisfy and will never face the truth. Another will have a paranoid vision of life and will always find a paranoid explanation for your words and thus will never understand what you’ve said…I’ll skip the numerous examples. 

I knew that I have my share of responsibility for communication, I also knew that I didn’t have to suffer those who are poor listeners and now I know that when I say blue, it’s blue, even if others see the sea or the sky or it reminds them of their daddy’s suit.

Thanks to the listening training program, I feel a new confidence and in this new way of listening, I see a panoply of advantages for life in general but specifically for the interpersonal relationships which are the very stuff of work, for creativity, sales, efficiency, etc.

D.R. General Director of a small enterprise