I’ve been doing a bit of reading in different fields lately and was reflecting on a statement Doctor Jerome Groopman made in his book, How Doctors Think. From his perspective,the best way to know what is going on with your patients is to get them to talk openly about their situation or problem. He said that, in his estimation, understanding comes from deep intentional listening.
Horray for Dr. Groopman. We have been talking about the art of listening for 20 years now. Listening matters in every aspect of our lives, personal as well as professional! Listening is an ongoing process and not a product that can be sealed and sold. Artful listening can only happen when we consciously commit to the process by giving our full attention to the speaker.
No doubt this is easy when we’re interested in what the speaker has to say. However during periods of high stress, personal or professional fatigue, high intensity time schedules or overload, the challenges increase almost exponentially. These are the times of testing!
So back to the Olypiads game…practice! Remember to remember to practice because all of our practice will improve our game over time! It doesn’t matter what field we’re in or what family hurdle we are facing, listening more deeply with an eye to the unspoken messages that might be lingering between the lines, will help us every time.
Thanks, Dr. Jerome Groopman for the reminder!