Marc Wong's blog

The Art and Practice of Listening

Listening is the art and practice of putting someone else’s speaking, thinking and feeling needs ahead of your own.

Listening insights from Faulkner's Nobel speech

William Faulkner's Nobel Literature Prize acceptance speech is one of the most famous speeches in literature. He delivered it in Stockholm on December 10, 1950. His used his speech to offer good advice to young writers. He talked about "the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing".

How not to paraphrase

The word paraphrase means to reword something while retaining the meaning. When you listen to someone, you can paraphrase them to show that you understand what they are saying.

However, paraphrasing is probably the most misused listening technique. If someone told you, "I love you," how would you respond?

Would you say:
"I understand."
"You seem quite fond of me. I'm very fond of you too!"

Not every situation requires you to confirm your understanding. A heartfelt declaration might deserve a similar heartfelt declaration. "I love you too! Here's why..."

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