The 7 rules of the art of listening
by Marianella Sclavi
1) Never be in a hurry to reach conclusions. Conclusions are the most ephemeral part of your research.
2) What you are seeing depends on your point of view. In order to see your point of view, you have to change it.
3) In order to understand what another person is saying, you must assume that he/she is right and ask him/her to help you to understand how come so it is.
4) The emotions are basic tools of knowledge if you understand that they speak a language of analogies and relationships. They don’t tell you what you are looking at, but how you are looking at it.
5) A good listener is an explorer of possible worlds. The signals which he or she finds most important are the ones that seem both negligible and annoying, both marginal and irritating, since they refuse to mesh with previous convinctions and certainties.
6) A good listener is happy to accept the self-contradictions that come to the fore in personal thoughts and interpersonal communications. Misunderstandings are accepted as occasions for entering the most exciting field of all: the creative management of conflicts.
7) To become an expert in listening you must follow a humorous methodology. But when you have learnt how to listen, it is humor that will follow you.
M. Sclavi, “Arte di ascoltare e mondi possibili. Come uscire dalle cornici di cui siamo parte”, Bruno Mondadori, 2003