Just because you listen, do you really understand?

I listened and heard clearly:
“She is a bully.”  I thought she must intentionally hurt people.

I was wrong. When I spiraled and asked, “What is she doing to earn that reputation?” I learned, she is asking people to deliver on commitments.

Image by Robin Higgins from Pixabay

I listened and heard clearly:
“He is crazy.” I thought his behavior must be dangerous to himself or others.

I was wrong again.  When I spiraled and asked, “How do you experience him as crazy?” I learned, he is insecure in the relationship and tends to leave when he feels threatened.

I listened and heard clearly:
“People are afraid to tell him what is going on.” I thought he must be reactive and scare them.

I was wrong again.  When I spiraled and asked, “What makes them afraid?” I learned people didn’t want to overwhelm an already busy person.

When merely listening, my conclusions were based on my own assumptions.
Each time I was wrong!
To understand Spiral in and ask a question.


What do you miss when you don’t ask the next question?  

 

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