Listen Like You Watch The Sunrise

What does that mean, to listen like you watch the sunrise? One of my teachers taught me this phrase and it makes so much sense. It means to listen WITHOUT judgment or blame. It means to simply listen. This takes practice. 

Imagine you are in a disagreement with someone, all you want to do is defend your point until the other person agrees with you. However, when we get stuck in our perspective, there is no way to listen to what the other has to say. The result, we don’t feel heard, none of us feel heard. Listening without judgment or blame takes A LOT of conscious effort. 

Now think about being with your kids.  They feel hot, but you feel a little cold. You insist that they put on their sweatshirt or shoes, but they tell you they don’t need it, that they aren’t cold at all. As parents, we tend to ignore their words, KNOWING in our minds that they MUST be cold and NEED to wear their warmer clothes.  Of course, there are times when this is a control battle and warmer clothes are necessary to keep them safe. However, it’s a good example of how we jump to our own thoughts about what they need and how they feel when instead we could listen to them without judgment and let them build a little self-awareness, self-efficacy, and respectful listening. 

This week, let’s practice listening like we watch the sunrise. 

This Week’s Practice: 

  • Notice when you are NOT able to listen without judgment. 
  • When you notice, try to stop and just listen.
  • See if you are able to open up a little more, and then share your point of view with a less defensive tone behind it. 

In the Classroom: 

  • Model listening for your students.
  • Really take time to hear what they have to say, especially if there is big emotion behind it. 
  • Just listen, you have permission NOT to fix the problem. 

At Home: 

  • Model listening with your kids. 
  • Notice if you are imposing your thoughts or feelings onto them, and practice listening.
  • You don’t have to fix anything for them, just hear what they have to say.  

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