What is Listening

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We all listen every day. But how well do we actually do it? And why is it important that we listen well to others? Perhaps trying the simple exercise on this page will begin to answer that question.

Modern technology has vastly changed the way we communicate with one another. What has not changed, however, is the need at the deep personal level for every individual to feel that when they need it, their voice, their story, their concern is listened to.

But good listeners are often hard to find.

Listening, really listening, means much more than just the mechanics of hearing words and noting information. It’s about caring for and valuing the other person, giving them the space to say what they have to say and  responding in such a manner that signifies to them that they have been heard.

Listening is a skill that can be learned and Listen Well Scotland is committed to providing high quality listening training  throughout Scotland. This is available to  any group in the voluntary or commercial sector, within healthcare, schools and faith communities. Our vision, though, is more than simply teaching listening skills. It is about the  development of  listening people who will contribute to a listening culture within our society because we are confident of the potential impact this can have for life, health and community.  

Listen Well Scotland makes no  apology that its Christian faith is at the heart of its work. It offers the benefit, however, to anyone or everyone, of any faith or none and in all cases without any conditions attached.

Many people wish to develop their listening skills for use in a specific  situation. As well as offering listening training, Listen Well Scotland offers help and guidance in setting up Listening Initiatives in new situations. These might be connected with churches, GP surgeries, hospitals, prisons, local community, schools, young people's clubs, and Universities.

Listening or Counselling?

Listening is different to counselling, though it is often used in conjunction with it. Listening is simpler to learn and therefore more accessible for people. The simplicity of the training belies the remarkable effectiveness of good listening something which we believe can contribute to the health and well-being of people and society.

From a Christian Perspective

Christians aim to follow the example of Jesus. Through his life Jesus showed himself to be an excellent listener as he met people at the point of their need with compassion, understanding and healing. Our specific courses for Christians provide the opportunity not only for learning to listen to others and to ourselves but also for learning to listen to God, an important aspect of our own faith journey.

A Listening Exercise

With a group of friends or on your own think of a time when you were not listened to, and then complete the following sentence

When I am not listened to I feel………

Write all the words down on the left side of a sheet of paper

Then think of a time you were listened to

When I am listened to I feel………

Write all the words down on the right side of a sheet of paper

We hope simply reflecting on your own experience will demonstrate the importance of good listening

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The need for good listeners is so important. Perhaps we should encourage more church members to take this course. It could enhance our witness to the community and also our fellowship
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