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Quotations  > Listening

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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A
===
Alfred Benjamin,
 “Genuine listening is hard work; there is little about it that is mechanical…  We hear with our ears, but we listen with our eyes and mind and heart and skin and guts as well”. Alfred Benjamin,

 

 

 Alfred Brendel
“The word 'listen' contains the same letters as the word 'silent'.”  Alfred Brendel


 

 Albert Guinon    [listening] 
"There are people who, instead of listening to what is being said to them, are already listening to what they are going to say themselves."   Albert Guinon


Alice Miller

 Learning is a result of listening, which in turn leads to even better listening and attentiveness to the other person. In other words, to learn from the child, we must have empathy, and empathy grows as we learn. Alice Miller

 Listening is not merely not talking, though even that is beyond most of our powers; it means taking a vigorous, human interest in what is being told us. Alice Deur Miller
 

Ambrose Bierce  [listening]
"Bore, n.: A person who talks when you wish him to listen." Ambrose Bierce


Andrew V. Mason

Sainthood emerges when you can listen to someone's tale of woe and not respond with a description of your own. Andrew V. Mason


Atticus Finch
If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you`ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it. - Atticus Finch  -To Kill A Mockingbird


Audrey McLaughlin
“When you listen, it's amazing what you can learn. When you act on what you've learned, it's amazing what you can change.”  Audrey McLaughlin

 

B
===

Bernie Siegel
You can hear your loved ones no matter how poorly your ears work. I know deaf people who are able to hear with their hearts. And I know people with perfect ears who drive their families crazy with their lack of hearing. I know about this firsthand because our children used to get upset when I read the paper and watched television while they were talking to me. They'd say, "Dad, you're not listening." I would repeat all the things they said to prove I was listening, but they told me that being able to repeat their words was not the same thing as hearing them. Hearing means listening attentively to what they had to say. Today when one of the children wants to talk to me, I put down the paper, turn off the television and listen to what he has to tell me. . . . I also have learned how to say "m-m-m" in many ways and to stop trying to solve everyone's problems. They thank me for listening. It helps them to clarify and solve their problems. Bernie Siegel Prescriptions for Living
 

Betsy Sanders    [listening] 
"To learn through listening, practice it naively and actively. Naively means that you listen openly, ready to learn something, as opposed to listening defensively, ready to rebut. Listening actively means you acknowledge what you heard and act accordingly."  Betsy Sanders - Former Senior Vice President & General Manager Nordstrom

 

Brain Muldoon

"Listening has the quality of the wizard's alchemy. It has the power to melt armor and to produce beauty in the midst of hatred."  Brian Muldoon

La Belle Dame Sans Merci by John William Waterhouse
 

"Of all the tools available to us in dealing with conflict, none is more important than attentive, intentional listening. Listening helps reduce resistance and opens our thinking to creative solutions. Listening not only clarifies the message but changes both the messenger and the listener. Listening makes it possible for both sides to have a change of heart."   Brian Muldoon - The power of listening   ***

Listening doesn't happen by itself. It takes a conscious decision and a willingness to release the distraction of "being right." In learning how to listen, we develop the virtues of patience and even humility. Ultimately, listening teaches us to resolve conflict by letting it resolve itself.
  Brian Muldoon


Brenda Ueland
  (link)

"When we listen to people there is an alternating current, and this recharges us so that we never get tired of each other. We are constantly being re-created. There is this little creative fountain inside us that begins to spring and cast up new thoughts and unexpected laughter and wisdom. If you are very tired, strained, have no solitude, run too many errands, talk to too many people, drink too many cocktails, this little fountain is muddied over and covered with a lot of debris. The result is you stop living from the center, the creative fountain, and you live from the periphery, from externals. That is why, when someone has listened to you, you go home rested and lighthearted. It is when people really listen to us, with quiet fascinated attention, that the little fountain begins to work again, to accelerate in the most surprising way." Brenda Ueland  Strength to Your Sword Arm: Selected Writings

"I want to write about the great and powerful thing that listening is. And how we forget it. And how we don't listen to our children, or those we love. And least of all - which is so important, too - to those we do not love. But we should. Because listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force...When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand. Ideas actually begin to grow within us and come to life."  Brenda Ueland, The Art of Listening


“Now before going to a party, I just tell myself to listen with affection to anyone who talks to me, to be in their shoes when they talk, to try to know them without my mind pressing against theirs, or arguing, or changing the subject. No. My attitude is: 'Tell me more.' This person is showing me his soul. It is a little dry and meager and full of grinding talk just now, but presently he will begin to think, not just automatically to talk. He will show his true self. Then he will be wonderfully alive.'

...Creative listeners are those who want you to be recklessly yourself, even at your very worst, even vituperative, bad-tempered. They are laughing and just delighted with any manifestation of yourself, bad or good. For true listeners know that if you are bad-tempered it does not mean that you are always so. They don't love you just when you are nice; they love all of you.”
― Brenda Ueland, Strength to Your Sword Arm: Selected Writings

Who are the people, for example, to whom you go for advice? Not to the hard, practical ones who can tell you exactly what to do, but to the listeners; that is, the kindest, least censorious, least bossy people you know. It is because by pouring out your problem to them, you then know what to do about it yourself. Brenda Ueland

 'You know, I have come to think listening is love, that's what it really is." Brenda Ueland,

"But the most serious result of not listening is that worst thing in the world, boredom; for it is really the death of love. It seals people off from each other more than any other thing.

Now, how to listen. It is harder than you think. Creative listeners are those who want you to be recklessly yourself, even at your very worst, even vituperative, bad- tempered. They are laughing and just delighted with any manifestation of yourself, bad or good. For true listeners know that if you are bad-tempered it does not mean that you are always so. They don't love you just when you are nice; they love all of you". Brenda Ueland

We should all know this: that listening, not talking, is the gifted and great role, and the imaginative role.
And the true listener is much more beloved, magnetic than the talker, and he is more effective and learns more and does more good.,  Brenda Ueland

“We should all know this: that listening is not talking; [it] is the gifted and great role and the imaginative role. And the true listener is much more beloved, magnetic than the talker, and he is more effective, and learns more and does more good. And so try listening. Listen to your wife, your husband, your father, your mother, your children, your friends; to those who love you and those who don’t, to those who bore you, to your enemies. It will work  a small miracle. And perhaps a great one.  Brenda Ueland, It Will Work a Small Miracle


C
===

Calvin Coolidge    [listening] 
"No man ever listened himself out of a job."  Calvin Coolidge


 

Carl Rogers

   [listening] 
"Man's inability to communicate is a result of his failure to listen effectively."  Carl Rogers

The third facilitative aspect of the relationship is empathic understanding. This means that the therapist senses accurately the feelings and personal meanings that the client is experiencing and communicates this understanding to the client. When functioning best, the therapist is so much inside the private world of the other that he or she can clarify not only the meanings of which the client is aware but even those just below the level of awareness. This kind of sensitive, active listening is exceedingly rare in our lives. We think we listen, but very rarely do we listen with real understanding, true empathy. Yet listening, of this very special kind, is one of the most potent forces for change that I know."  (Rodgers, 1980)

"When someone really hears you without passing judgment on you, without trying to take responsibility for you, without trying to mold you, it feels damn good. . . . When I have been listened to and when I have been heard, I am able to re-perceive my world in a new way and to go on. It is astonishing how elements which seem insoluble become soluble when someone listens. How confusions which seem irremediable turn into relatively clear flowing streams when one is heard. " Carl Rogers

"
 when a person realizes he has been deeply heard, his eyes moisten. I think in some real sense he is weeping for joy. It is as though he were saying, "Thank God, somebody heard me. Someone knows what it's like to be me." Carl Rogers

"I believe I know why it is satisfying to me to hear someone. When I can really hear someone, it puts me in touch with him; it enriches my life. It is through hearing people that I have learned all that I know about individuals, about personality, about interpersonal relationships." Carl Rogers

Later (1975), Rogers wrote that empathy is a process rather than a state and that it means "entering the private perceptual world of the other and becoming thoroughly at home in it. It involves being sensitive, moment to moment, to the changing felt meanings which flow in this other person, to the fear or rage or tenderness or confusion or what ever, that he/she is experiencing. It means temporarily living in his/her life, moving about in it delicately without making judgments, sensing meanings of which he/she is scarcely aware, but not trying to uncover feelings of which the person is totally unaware, since this would be too threatening. It includes communicating your sensing of his/her world as you look with fresh and unfrightened eyes at elements of which the individual is fearful. It means frequently checking with him/her as to the accuracy of your sensings, and being guided by the responses you receive. You are a confident companion to the person in his/her inner world. By pointing to the possible meanings in the flow of his/her experiencing you help the person to focus on this useful type of referent, to experience the meanings more fully, and to move forward in the experiencing. To be with another in this way means that for the time being you lay aside the views and values you hold for yourself in order to enter another's world without prejudice. In some sense it means that you lay aside yourself and this can only be done by a person who is secure enough in himself that he knows he will not get lost in what may turn out to be the strange or bizarre world of the other, and can comfortably return to his own world when he wishes. Perhaps this description makes clear that being empathic is a complex, demanding, strong yet subtle way of being." (p. 4). Source: Rogers, C. (1975). Empathic: An unappreciated way of being. Counseling Psychologist, 5, 2-10.

"To perceive the internal frame of reference of another with accuracy and with the emotional components and meanings which pertain thereto as if one were the person, but without ever losing the "as if" condition. Thus, it means to sense the hurt or the pleasure of another as he senses it and to perceive the causes thereof as he perceives them, but without ever losing the recognition that it is as if I were hurt or pleased and so forth." Carl Rogers 
(1959, p. 210-211)"
Source: Rogers, C. R. (1959). A theory of therapy, personality and interpersonal relationships, as developed in the client-centered framework. In S. Koch (Ed.), Psychology: A study of science, (Vol. 3, p. 184-256). New York: Mc Graw Hill.

Cheryl Richardson
People start to heal the moment they feel heard.  Cheryl Richardson

Chuang Tzu
"The hearing that is only in the ears is one thing. The hearing of the understanding is another.  But the hearing of the spirit is not limited to any one faculty, to the ear, or to the mind. Hence  it demands the emptiness of all the faculties. And when the faculties are empty, then the whole being listens. There is then a direct grasp of what is right there before you that can never be heard with the ear or understood with the mind." 
Chinese philosopher Chuang Tzu
 

Confucius
"The goal of fasting is inner unity.
This means hearing, but not with the ear;
hearing, but not with the understanding;
hearing with the spirit, with your whole being...
The hearing of the spirit is not limited to any one faculty, to the ear, or to the mind. Hence, it demands the emptiness of all the faculties.
And when the faculties are empty, then the whole being listens.
There is then a direct grasp of what is right there before you
that can never be heard with the ear or understood with the mind.
Fasting of the heart empties the faculties, frees you from limitation and from preoccupation. Fasting of the heart begets unity and freedom.
"
Confucius


Cuban proverb
“Listening looks easy, but it’s not simple. Every head is a world.”


D
===

The more faithfully you listen to the voice within you, the better you hear what is sounding outside. And only he who listens can speak. Dag Hammarskjold

David Augsburger
The golden rule of friendship is to listen to others as you would have them listen to you. David Augsburger

David Steindl-Rast
"Eyes see only light, ears hear only sound, but a listening heart perceives meaning."  David Steindl-Rast, A Listening Heart

 David Zaslow
"Compassionate Listening is a process rather than a product. It is healing precisely because it does not pretend to “have the answers.” Rather, it engages the participants in processes that have each side seeing the humanity of the other, even when they disagree." Rabbi David Zaslow

D.J. Kaufman    [listening] 
"Wisdom is the reward for a lifetime of listening ... when you'd have preferred to talk."  D.J. Kaufman


 Deborah Tannen    [listening] 
"To say that a person feels listened to means a lot more than just their ideas get heard. It's a sign of respect. It makes people feel valued."  Deborah Tannen - Author and Professor of Linguistics Georgetown University

Dennis Kucinich     [listening] 
"If we can change ourselves, we can change the world. We're not the victims of the world we see, we're the victims of the way we see the world. This is the essence of Compassionate Listening: seeing the person next to you as a part of yourself. Dennis Kucinich, U.S. Congressman"

Doug Larson
Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you'd have preferred to talk. Doug Larson
 

E
===

 E. H. Mayo  [listening]
"One friend, one person who is truly understanding, who takes the trouble to listen to us as we consider a problem, can change our whole outlook on the world." E. H. Mayo

e. e.  cummings
“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”
e. e.  cummings


Ed Cunningham
Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer. Ed Cunningham

Ernest Hemingway
“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”   Ernest Hemingway

Eugene Kennedy
There is a silence that matches our best possibilities when we have learned to listen to others. We can master the art of being quiet in order to be able to hear clearly what others are saying. . . . We need to cut off the garbled static of our own preoccupations to give to people who want our quiet attention.
Eugene Kennedy
 

F
===

Farhan
If you can see me and hear me, and I can see you and hear you, this is one of the starting points. We need to allow ourselves to truly see each other..."
Farhan,  Former Mayor, HAMAS Party

Frank Tyger    [listening] 

"Be a good listener. Your ears will never get you in trouble."  Frank Tyger
 


Francesca Lia Block
“It's important to tell your story. It's important to listen.”  Francesca Lia Block, Baby Be-Bop


Francois de La Rochefoucauld    [listening] 
"To listen closely and reply well is the highest perfection we are able to attain in the art of conversation."  Francois de La Rochefoucauld

 

G
===

Gandhi
God speaks to us every day only we don't know how to listen. Mahatma Gandhi

Gene Knudsen Hoffman

“I soon realized that without listening to the enemy I could not make informed decisions. If I was an advocate for one side, I would never know the causes of the oppositions’ anger and violence, and I couldn’t possibly know the suffering they had endured.” Gene Knudsen Hoffman

“We peace people have always listened to the oppressed and disenfranchised. One of the steps we should take is to listen to those we consider ‘the enemy’ with the same openness, non-judgment, and compassion, we listen to those with whom our sympathies lie......" Gene Knudsen Hoffman 

“An enemy is one whose story we have not heard.”
Gene Knudsen Hoffman - Compassionate Listening pioneer and international peacemaker.

"Then we must listen. We must listen and listen and listen. We must listen for the Truth in our opponent, and we must acknowledge it. After we have listened long enough, openly enough, and with the desire to really hear, we may be given the opportunity to speak our truth. We may even have the opportunity to be heard.

For no one and no one side is the sole repository of Truth. But each of us has a spark of it within. Perhaps, with compassion as our guide, that spark in each of us can become a glow, and then perhaps a light, and we will watch one another in awe as we become illuminated. And then, perhaps, this spark, this glow, this, light will become the enlightening energy of love that will save all of us.
Gene Knudsen Hoffman  “Speaking Truth to Power”

Compassionate Listening is adaptable to any conflict. It is non-judgmental, non-adversarial, and it seeks the truth of the person questioned. It also seeks to see through any masks of hostility and fear to the sacredness of the individual --- and to discern the wounds suffered by all parties. To discern means to perceive some things hidden or obscure. This is very different from deciding in advance who is right and who is wrong and then seeking to rectify it. And it's very hard to listen to people whom I feel are misleading, if not lying. We must listen with our "spiritual" or psychological ear. Listeners do not defend themselves, but accept what others say as their perceptions. By listening, they validate the others' rights to those perceptions. An enemy is a person whose story we have not heard. Peace is a healing process that acknowledges both sides are wounded. Gene Knudsen Hoffman

Glen Rifkin    [listening] 
"June Rokoff, Senior VP for Software Development at Lotus credits her success in turning around the company's position in the software industry to building a team that listens: she made listening the culture of her team."  Glen Rifkin - New York Times

 

H
===

Harvey Mackay    [listening] 
"You learn when you listen. You earn when you listen not just money, but respect."  Harvey Mackay
 

Hank Ketcham
"Just because I didn’t do what you told me, doesn’t mean I wasn’t listening to you!"  Hank Ketcham

Heath Herbe    [listening] 
"I would say that listening to the other person's emotions may be the most important thing I've learned in twenty years of business."  Heath Herber - Herber Company

Henri J. M. Nouwen
  "To listen is very hard, because it asks of us so much interior stability that we no longer need to prove ourselves by speeches, arguments, statements or declarations. True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence known. They are free to receive, welcome, to accept.

Listening is much more than allowing another to talk while waiting for a chance to respond. Listening is paying full attention to others and welcoming them into our very beings. The beauty of listening is that those who are listened to start feeling accepted, start taking our words more seriously and discovering their true selves.

Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you."
Henri Nouwen

 

Henry Ford
"If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person's point of view and see things from his angle as well as your own". Henry Ford
 

Henry David Thoreau

"The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer."  Henry David Thoreau

"It takes two to speak the truth - one to speak and another to hear." David Thoreau

 

Herman Hesse
"Vasudeva listened with great attention. It was one of the ferryman’s greatest virtues that, like few people, he knew how to listen ... the speaker felt that Vasudeva took in every word, quietly, expectantly, that he missed nothing ... He did not await anything with impatience and gave neither praise nor blame--he only listened ... Siddhartha felt how wonderful it was to have such a listener who could be absorbed in another’s life ... " Herman Hesse, Siddhartha

 

I
===

Idries Shah
The learned person who only talks will never Penetrate to the inner heart of humans. Idries Shah


 

J
===

J. Richard Clarke
One who cares is one who listens. J. Richard Clarke


Jane Fonda

 

What I learned is, we have to listen to each other, even when we don’t agree, even when we think we hate each other. We have to listen to each others narratives. Not interrupt defensively, or with hostility, but really try to open our hearts and listen with empathy.
 
I learned so much from that meeting. It was a very difficult thing to do and it was one of the best things that I ever did in my life. Look what scares you in the face, and try to understand it. Empathy, I have learned, is revolutionary. Jane Fonda (Full video)  (Quote video)

Jane Klivans
"If you're forming a rebuttal, you're not really listening." Jane Klivans

Jerome K. Jerome
“They [dogs] never talk about themselves but listen to you while you talk about yourself, and keep up an appearance of being interested in the conversation. ”  Jerome K. Jerome

John Bryan  [leadership]
"You have to be willing sometimes to listen to some remarkable bad opinions. Because if you say to someone, 'That's the silliest thing I've ever heard; get on out of here!'—then you'll never get anything out of that person again, and you might as well have a puppet on a string or a robot." John Bryan

John Coltrane
"Don't ever get so big or important that you can not hear and listen to every other person." John Coltrane

John P. Kotter    [listening] 
"Without credible communication, and a lot of it, the hearts and minds of others are never captured."   John P. Kotter

John F Smith    [listening] 
"We listened to what our customers wanted and acted on what they said. Good things happen when you pay attention." John F Smith - Former CEO and President General Motors

 Josh Billings    [listening] 
"The best time to hold your tongue is the time you feel you must say something or bust."  Josh Billings
 

Joyce Brothers    [listening] 
"Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery."    Joyce Brothers
 

 

K
===

Karl A. Menning

"Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand." Karl A. Menninger


Kenneth A. Wells    [listening] 
"A good listener tries to understand what the other person is saying. In the end he may disagree sharply, but because he disagrees, he wants to know exactly what it is he is disagreeing with."  Kenneth A. Wells

Krishnamurti

 "So when you are listening to somebody, completely, attentively, then you are listening not only to the words, but also to the feeling of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it." Jiddu Krishnamurti

“Observing without evaluating is the highest form of human intelligence." J. Krishnamurti


"If we try to listen we find it extraordinarily difficult, because we are always projecting our opinions and ideas, our prejudices, our background, our inclinations, our impulses; when they dominate, we hardly listen at all to what is being said…One listens and therefore learns, only in a state of silence, in which this whole background is in abeyance, is quite; then, it seems to me, it is possible to communicate."
Jiddu Krishnamurti, Indian Philosopher

“I do not know if you have ever examined how you listen, it doesn’t matter to what, whether to a bird, to the wind in the leaves, to the rushing waters, or how you listen in a dialogue with yourself, to your conversation in various relationships with your intimate friends, your wife or husband…. If we try to listen we find it extraordinarily difficult, because we are always projecting our opinions and ideas, our prejudices, our backgrounds, our inclinations, our impulses; when they dominate we hardly listen at all to what is being said…. One listens and therefore learns, only in a state of attention, a state of silence,in which this whole background is in abeyance, is quiet; then, it seems to me, it is possible to communicate.”  Jiddu Krishnamurti

… real communication can only take place where there is silence.

Jiddu Krishnamurti,

 


L
===

Lao-Tzu
It is as though he listened
and such listening as his enfolds us in silence
in which at last we begin to hear
what we are meant to be.
Lao-Tzu

 Larry Barker   [listening]
"Effective listeners remember that "words have no meaning - people have meaning." The assignment of meaning to a term is an internal process; meaning comes from inside us. And although our experiences, knowledge and attitudes differ, we often misinterpret each other's messages while under the illusion that a common understanding has been achieved." Larry Barker

Larry King
“The first rule of my speaking is: listen!”   Larry King

Larry King    [listening] 
"I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I'm going to learn, I must do it by listening."  Larry King

Larry Wilson and Spencer Johnson    [listening] 
"The best salespeople are great listeners that's how you find out what the buyer wants." Larry Wilson and Spencer Johnson

Leah Green

“What we’re doing is creating an environment conducive to peace-building through deep, empathic listening. It is no simple thing: At times we listeners must dig deep within ourselves to move beyond our own judgments and opinions. When we listen with the intention of building empathy and understanding, we also quickly build trust, and possibilities emerge. We have been able to bring opposing sides together in one room to listen to each other because our intentions are trusted. Leah Green, CompassionateListening.org

 “Our experience has demonstrated that people want to take risks for peace, and will take risks, if given an opportunity to really be heard. After years of listening it has become so clear to me: all are suffering, all are wounded, all want to live with security, justice and peace. All are worthy of our compassion.” Leah Green, CompassionateListening.org

Lee Iacocca    [listening] 
"I only wish I could find an institute that teaches people how to listen. Business people need to listen at least as much as they need to talk. Too many people fail to realize that real communication goes in both directions."  Lee Iacocca - Former CEO Chrysler Corporation
 

Leo Buscaglia
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”  Leo Buscaglia

Linda Douty
"Silence is the training ground for the art of listening." Linda Douty

Lisa M. Hayes
“Be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening.”  Lisa M. Hayes

Lucca Kaldahl
“You have two eyes, and two ears, but only one mouth. This is so because you are supposed to look and listen more than you talk.”  Lucca Kaldahl

Lucy Duncan
“When people, who have experienced trauma, hold their stories, become isolated, and have no safe place for their telling, the trauma can fester and emerge in acts of retribution and future violence. Telling stories and having them heard, received, and understood lays the groundwork for the kind of healing that can make way for peace.  Hearing such stories can ignite movements of the heart that can lay the foundation for peace.” Lucy Duncan, American Friends Service Committee,
 

M
===

M.C. Richards
And with listening, too, it seems to me, it is not the ear that hears, it is not the physical organ that performs the act of inner receptivity. It is the total person who hears. Sometimes the skin seems to be the best listener, as it prickles and thrills, say to a sound or a silence; or the fantasy, the imagination: how it bursts into inner pictures as it listens and then responds by pressing its language, its forms, into the listening clay. To be open to what we hear, to be open in what we say. . . .M.C. Richards

M. Scott Peck, MD     [listening] 

"Listening well is an exercise of attention and by necessity hard work. It is because they do not realize this or because they are not willing to do the work that most people do not listen well. " The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck

"An essential part of true listening is the discipline of bracketing, the temporary giving up or setting aside of one's own prejudices, frames of reference and desires so as to experience as far as possible the speaker's world from the inside, step in inside his or her shoes. This unification of speaker and listener is actually and extension and enlargement of ourselves, and new knowledge is always gained from this. Moreover, since true listening involves bracketing, a setting aside of the self, it also temporarily involves a total acceptance of the other. Sensing this acceptance, the speaker will fell less and less vulnerable and more and more inclined to open up the inner recesses of his or her mind to the listener. As this happens, speaker and listener begin to appreciate each other more and more, and the duet dance of love is begun again."   M. Scott Peck, MD

"You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time."  M. Scott Peck


Madeleine L’Engle

“Because we fail to listen to each other’s stories, we are becoming a fragmented human race.” Madeleine L’Engle
 

Mark Brady
"When I ask you to listen and you start giving advice, you  have not done what I have asked.
When I ask you to listen an
d you start telling me why I shouldn't feel the way I do, you are invalidating my feelings.
When I ask you to listen and you start trying to solve my problems, I feel underestimated and disempowered.
When I ask you to listen and you start telling me what I need to do, I feel offended, pressured and controlled.
When I ask you to listen, it does not mean I am helpless. I may be faltering, depressed or discouraged, but I am not helpless.
When I ask you to listen and you do things that I can and need to do for myself, you hurt my self-esteem.

But when you accept the way I feel, then I don't need to spend time and energy trying to defend myself or convince you, and I can focus on figuring out why I feel the way I feel and what to do about it. And when I do that, I don't need advice, just support, trust and encouragement. Please remember that what you think are irrational feelings always makes sense if you take the time to listen and understand me." 
An adolescent's plea to adults, from the book, "Right Listening," by Mark Brady
 

Mark Nepo
"In real ways, we are invited each day to slow down and listen. But why listen at all? Because listening stitches the world together. Because listening is the doorway to everything that matters. It enlivens the heart the way breathing enlivens the lungs. We listen to awaken our heart. We do this to stay vital and alive. This is the work of reverence: to stay vital and alive by listening deeply."   Mark Nepo, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen

Mary Field Belenky
Really listening and suspending one's own judgment is necessary in order to understand other people on their own terms.  As we have noted, this is a process that requires trust and builds trust. Mary Field Belenky

Max De Pree    [leadership]
"In some South Pacific cultures, a speaker holds a conch shell as a symbol of temporary position of authority. Leaders must understand who holds the conch—that is, who should be listened to and when."  Max De Pree


 

Marshall Rosenberg
“I
 
wouldn't expect someone who's been injured to hear my side until they felt that I had fully understood the depth of their pain.” Marshall Rosenberg

Marion Woodman
"Healing depends on listening with the inner ear — stopping the incessant blather, and listening. Fear keeps us chattering — fear that wells up from the past, fear of blurting out what we really fear, fear of future repercussions. It is our very fear of the future that distorts the now that could lead to a different future if we dared to be whole in the present."  Marion Woodman, The Pregnant Virgin,

Michael P. Nichols  [listening]

"There's a big difference between showing interest and really taking interest."  Michael P. Nichols
The Lost Art of Listening

Listening is so basic that we take it for granted. Unfortunately, most of us think of ourselves as better listeners than we really are. Michael P. Nichols
 

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Nina Malkin
“The best listeners listen between the lines.”  Nina Malkin, Swoon

 


Nicholas V. Luppa    [listening] 
"Just being available and attentive is a great way to use listening as a management tool. Some employees will come in, talk for twenty minutes, and leave having solved their problems entirely by themselves."  Nicholas V. Luppa

O
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P
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Paul Tillich

"The first duty of love is to listen." Paul Tillich

"All things and all people, so to speak, call on us with small or loud voices. They want us to listen. They want us to understand their intrinsic claims, their justice of being. But we can give it to them only through the love that listens." Paul Tillich


Peter Nulty     [listening] 
"Of all the skills of leadership, listening is the most valuable and one of the least understood. Most captains of industry listen only sometimes, and they remain ordinary leaders. But a few, the great ones, never stop listening. That's how they get word before anyone else of unseen problems and opportunities."  Peter Nulty - National Business Hall of Fame Fortune Magazine

 

Peter Senge
"To listen fully means to pay close attention to what is being said beneath the words. You listen not only to the 'music,' but to the essence of the person speaking. You listen not only for what someone knows, but for what he or she is. Ears operate at the speed of sound, which is far slower than the speed of light the eyes take in. Generative listening is the art of developing deeper silences in yourself, so you can slow our mind’s hearing to your ears’ natural speed, and hear beneath the words to their meaning." Peter Senge

 

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Oliver Wendell Holmes [listening]
"It is the province of knowledge to speak. And it is the privilege of wisdom to listen." Oliver Wendell Holmes

 

P
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Proverb

"If speaking is silver, then listening is gold."Turkish Proverb

"Listening looks easy, but it's not simple. Every head is a world."  Cuban Prove

 
Peter Senge    [listening] 
"To listen fully means to pay close attention to what is being said beneath the words. You listen not only to the 'music,' but to the essence of the person speaking. You listen not only for what someone knows, but for what he or she is. Ears operate at the speed of sound, which is far slower than the speed of light the eyes take in. Generative listening is the art of developing deeper silences in yourself, so you can slow our mind’s hearing to your ears’ natural speed, and hear beneath the words to their meaning." Peter Senge

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Rachel Naomi Remen - video

"The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention....  A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words."  Rachel Naomi Remen

Listening is the oldest and perhaps the most powerful tool of healing. It is often through the quality of our listening and not the wisdom of our words that we are able to effect the most profound changes in the people around us. When we listen, we offer with our attention an opportunity for wholeness. Our listening creates sanctuary for the homeless parts within the other person. That which has been denied, unloved, devalued by themselves and others. That which is hidden.   Rachel Naomi Remen,

In this culture the soul and the heart too often go homeless. Listening creates a holy silence. When you listen generously to people, they can hear the truth in themselves, often for the first time. And in the silence of listening, you can know yourself in everyone. Eventually you may be able to hear, in everyone and beyond everyone, the unseen singing softly to itself and to you. Rachel Naomi Remen, My Grandfather's Blessings

Listening creates a holy silence. When you listen generously to people, they can hear truth in themselves, often for the first time. And in the silence of listening, you can know yourself in everyone. Eventually you may be able to hear, in everyone and beyond everyone, the Unseen singing softly to itself and you.  Rachel Naomi Remen,

"The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention.... A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words."  Rachel Naomi Remen

When we haven't the time to listen to each other's stories we seek out experts to tell us how to live. The less time we spend together at the kitchen table, the more how-to books appear in the stores and on our bookshelves. But reading such books is a very different thing than listening to someone' s lived experience. Because we have stopped listening to each other we may even have forgotten how to listen, stopped learning how to recognize meaning and fill ourselves from the ordinary events of our lives. We have become
solitary; readers and watchers rather than sharers and participants.   Rachel Naomi Remen

Just Listen an excerpt Rachel Naomi Remen

"I suspect that the most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention. And especially if it's given from the heart. When people are talking, there's no need to do anything but receive them. Just take them in. Listen to what they're saying. Care about it. Most times caring about it is even more important than understanding it. Most of us don't value ourselves or our love enough to know this. It has taken me a long time to believe in the power of simply saying, "I'm so sorry," when someone is in pain. And meaning it.

One of my patients told me that when she tried to tell her story people often interrupted her to tell her that they once had something just like that happen to them. Subtly her pain became a story about themselves. Eventually she stopped talking to most people. It was just too lonely. We connect through listening. When we interrupt what someone is saying to let them know that we understand, we move the focus of attention to ourselves. When we listen, they know we care. Many people with cancer talk about the relief of having someone just listen.

I have even learned to respond to someone crying by just listening. In the old days I used to reach for the tissues, until I realized that passing a person a tissue may be just another way to shut them down, to take them out of their experience of sadness and grief. Now I just listen. When they have cried all they need to cry, they find me there with them.

This simple thing has not been that easy to learn. it certainly went against everything I had been taught since I was very young. I thought people listened only because they were too timid to speak or did not know the answer. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well intentioned words." Naomi Remen

There are few master teachers in life. … But there are many who can listen to life so well that they can hear the vastness in everything and in you. A teacher is someone who has learned to listen to life. Someone who has found a way to listen well. Any real teacher is only a finger pointing. In the end, we may find out more by not following our teachers but by following what our teachers follow for themselves. From a good teacher you may learn the secret of listening. You will never learn the secrets of life. You will have to listen for yourself. - Rachel Naomi

 

Rachel Simon
“Silence made space for other people's words, which was important for those who needed to be listened to.”   Rachel Simon, The Story of Beautiful Girl

Ram Dass
The quieter you become, the more you can hear. Ram Dass

Ralph Nichols
"The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them."  Ralph Nichols

Rene McPherson    [listening] 
"The way to stay fresh is you never stop traveling, you never stop listening. You never stop asking people what they think."  Rene McPherson - Former Chairman, Dana

Richard Carlson
I spent most of my life waiting for my turn to speak.  If you’re at all like me, you’ll be pleasantly amazed at the softer reactions and looks of surprise as you let others completely finish their thought before you begin yours.  Often, you will be allowing someone to feel listened to for the first time.  You will sense a feeling of relief coming from the person to whom you are speaking and a much calmer, less rushed feeling between the two of you.  No need to worry that you won’t get your turn to speak—you will.  In fact, it will be more rewarding to speak because the person you are speaking to will pick up on
your respect and patience and will begin to do the same. Richard Carlso

Richard Diaz
“Everybody listens to me with a focus on my words. This is a mistake. The words are the vehicle to deliver an idea. Always listen to the idea, it's more valid then any words that I can use.”  Richard Diaz

Richard Moss
The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention. Richard Moss

Robert Greenleaf    [listening] 
"Many attempts to communicate are nullified by saying too much."  Robert Greenleaf
 

Robert C. Murphy    [listening] 
"To be listened to is, generally speaking, a nearly unique experience for most people. It is enormously stimulating. It is small wonder that people who have been demanding all their lives to be heard so often fall speechless when confronted with one who gravely agrees to lend an ear. Man clamors for the freedom to express himself and for knowing that he counts. But once offered these conditions, he becomes frightened."  Robert C. Murphy

Robert K. Cooper     [listening]  
"Many 'active listening' seminars are, in actuality, little more than a shallow theatrical exercise in appearing like you're paying attention to another person. The requirements: Lean forward, make eye contact, nod, grunt, or murmur to demonstrate you're awake and paying attention, and paraphrase something back every 30 seconds or so. As one executive I know wryly observed, many inhabitants of the local zoo could be trained to go through these motions, minus the paraphrasing." Robert K. Cooper -  Executive EQ


Robert McCloskey

"I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." Robert McCloskey

Robert K. Cooper [listening]
"Many 'active listening' seminars are, in actuality, little more than a shallow theatrical exercise in appearing like you're paying attention to another person. The requirements: Lean forward, make eye contact, nod, grunt, or murmur to demonstrate you're awake and paying attention, and paraphrase something back every 30 seconds or so. As one executive I know wryly observed, many inhabitants of the local zoo could be trained to go through these motions, minus the paraphrasing." Robert K. Cooper - Executive EQ


 Robert Schuller    [listening] 
"Big egos have little ears." Robert Schuller
 

Rumi
“Let go of your mind and then be mindful. Close your ears and listen!”  Rumi, Love's Ripening: Rumi on the Heart's Journey

 

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Sam Walton    [listening] 
"The key to success is to get out into the store and listen to what the associates have to say. It's terribly important for everyone to get involved. Our best ideas come from clerks and stockboys."  Sam Walton
 

Santosh Kalwar
“A friend asks, "Tell me one word which is significant in any kinds of relationship." Another friend says, "LISTEN!”  Santosh Kalwar, Adventus

Sura Hart
“Listening is an attitude of the heart, a genuine desire to be with another which both attracts and heals. (attr to J. Isham)”  Sura Hart, Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids: 7 Keys to Turn Family Conflict into Cooperation


Stephen Covey

‘In empathic listening you listen with your ears, but you also, and more importantly, listen with you eyes and with your heart. You listen for feeling, for meaning. You listen for behaviour. You use your right brain as well as your left. You sense, you intuit, you feel.’ ...  ‘You have to open yourself up to be influenced’. Stephen R. Covey

Empathic listening is so powerful because it gives you accurate data to work with. Instead of projecting your own autobiography and assuming thoughts, feelings, motives and interpretation, you're dealing with the reality inside another person's head and heart. You're listening to understand. You're focused on receiving the deep communication of another human soul.  Stephen R. Covey

"When you listen with empathy to another person, you give that person psychological air". Stephen R. Covey

Stephen R. Covey    [listening] 
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."  Stephen R. Covey - 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

I may be ineffective in my interactions with my work associates,
my spouse, or my children because I constantly tell them what I think,
but I never really listen to them. Unless I search out correct principles
of human interaction, I may not even know I need to listen. Even if I
do know that in order to interact effectively with others I really need
to listen to them, I may not have the skill. I may not know how
to really listen deeply to another human being. But knowing I need
to listen and knowing how to listen is not enough. Unless I want
to listen, unless I have the desire, it won't be a habit in my life.
Stephen R. Covey

Stephen Levine    [listening] 
"The saddest part about being human is not paying attention. Presence is the gift of life."  Stephen Levine

Sydney J. Harris
“The art of listening needs its highest development in listening to oneself; our most important task is to develop an ear that can really hear what we're saying.” Sydney J. Harris
 

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Toba Beta
“When you're young, you say what you feel.
When you're adult, you speak what you think.
When you grow old, you listen to what nature says.”
Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut
 

 

 Thich Nhat Hanh

"Deep listening is the kind of listening that can help relieve the suffering of another person. You can call it compassionate listening. You listen with only one purpose: to help him or her to empty his heart." Thich Nhat Hanh

 "The most important thing is that we need to be understood. We need someone to be able to listen to us and to understand us. Then we will suffer less."  Thich Nhat Hanh

“We have to understand in order to be of help. We all have pain, but we tend to suppress it, because we don’t want it to come up to our living room. the most important thing is that we need to be understood. We need someone to be able to listen to us and to understand us, then we will suffer less, but everyone is suffering, and no one wants to listen. We don’t know how to express ourselves so that people can understand. because we suffer so much, the way we express our pain hurts other people, and they don’t want to listen.” Thich Nhat Hanh

"Listening is a very deep practice….You have to empty yourself. You have to leave space in order to listen….especially to people we think are our enemies – the ones we believe are making our situation worse. When you have shown your capacity for listening and understanding, the other person will begin to listen to you, and you have a change to tell him or her of your pain, and it’s your turn to be healed. This is the practice of peace.” 
Thich Nhat Hanh

"To reconcile conflicting parties, we must have the ability to understand the suffering of both sides. If we take sides, it is impossible to do the work of reconciliation. And humans want to take sides. That is why the situation gets worse and worse. Are there people who are still available to both sides? They need not do much. They need do only one thing: Go to one side and tell all about the suffering endured by the other side, and go to the other side and tell all about the suffering endured by this side.  This is our chance for peace. But how many of us are able to do that?" Thich Nhat Hanh

Tom Gallowa
"I’ll defend to the death your right to say that, but I never said I’d listen to it!" Tom Gallowa
 

U
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Unknown

"Man who know little say much.
Man who know much say little.
"
Unknown

African proverb
"Much silence makes a powerful noise." African proverb

Cuban Proverb
"Listening looks easy, but it's not simple. Every head is a world." Cuban Proverb

 Turkish Proverb
"If speaking is silver, then listening is gold." Turkish Proverb

Argentine Proverb  
Who speaks, sows; Who listens, reaps.  Argentine Proverb

 Native American Proverb
Listen, or your tongue will keep you deaf. Native American Proverb

 W
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Walt Whitman
“Song of myself
Now I will do nothing but listen,
To accrue what I hear into this song, to let sounds contribute toward it.

I hear bravuras of birds, bustle of growing wheat, gossip of flames,
clack of sticks cooking my meals,
I hear the sound I love, the sound of the human voice,
I hear all sounds running together, combined, fused or following,
Sounds of the city and sounds out of the city, sounds of the day and night,
Talkative young ones to those that like them, the loud laugh of
work-people at their meals,
The angry base of disjointed friendship, the faint tones of the sick,
The judge with hands tight to the desk, his pallid lips pronouncing
a death-sentence,
The heave'e'yo of stevedores unlading ships by the wharves, the
refrain of the anchor-lifters,
The ring of alarm-bells, the cry of fire, the whirr of swift-streaking
engines and hose-carts with premonitory tinkles and color'd lights,
The steam-whistle, the solid roll of the train of approaching cars,
The slow march play'd at the head of the association marching two and two,
(They go to guard some corpse, the flag-tops are draped with black muslin.)

I hear the violoncello, ('tis the young man's heart's complaint,)
I hear the key'd cornet, it glides quickly in through my ears,
It shakes mad-sweet pangs through my belly and breast.

I hear the chorus, it is a grand opera,
Ah this indeed is music--this suits me.”
Walt Whitman

 
Woodrow Wilson  [leadership]
"The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people." Woodrow Wilson 

Wilferd A. Peterson
"One of the most important habits of a creative thinker is to be a good listener. Stand guard at the ear-gateway to your mind, heart, and spirit.
Listen to the good. Tune your ears to love, hope, and courage. Tune out gossip and resentment.
Listen to the beautiful. Listen to the music of the masters. Listen to the symphony of nature--the hum of the wind in the treetops, bird songs, thundering surf. . .
Listen critically. Mentally challenge assertions, ideas, and philosophies. Seek the truth with an open mind.
Listen with patience. Do not hurry the other person. Show them the courtesy of listening to what they have to say, no matter how much you may disagree. You may learn something.
Listen with your heart. Practice empathy when you listen. Put yourself in the other person's shoes.
Listen for growth. Be an inquisitive listener. Ask questions. Everyone has something to say which will help you to grow.
Listen creatively. Listen for ideas or the germs of ideas. Listen for hints or clues that may spark creative projects.
Listen to yourself. Listen to your deepest yearnings, your highest aspirations, your noblest impulses. Listen to the better person within you.
Listen with depth. Be still and listen. Listen with the ear of intuition to the inspiration of the Infinite." Creative Listening
Wilferd A. Peterson

Winston Churchill
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
Winston Churchill


Wilson Mizner
"A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something." Wilson Mizner

 

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Y
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===================

 SORT

"Our listening creates a sanctuary for the homeless parts within another person." Rachel Naomi Remen

"More than money, power, and even happiness, silence has become the most precious -- and dwindling -- commodity
of our modern world." George Prochnik


"Listening is an attitude of the heart, a genuine desire to be with another which both attracts and heals."  J. Isham

"How do I listen to others? As if everyone were my Master speaking to me His cherished last words." Hafiz (1320-1389, Persia)  Sufi Muslim mystic

"Listening is to relationships, what blood is to the body," is the universal experience of authentic, sustained Dialogue.
Yet "we are losing our listening, our access to understanding" and to one another."  Julian Treasure,

"Live to listen consciously in order to live fully," Julian Treasure