Developing Listening skills, with peter hudson
The key to collaborative planning and decision making
Listening, rather than talking, is the key to making an effective plan of action for a company or school, according to Peter Hudson. The trouble is, most people are not very good at it. Here Peter looks at five key ideas that will help the members of a team improve as listeners, and therefore as effective collaborative planners.
Five reasons why listening is important for school leaders
Listening is invaluable in schools in all sorts of ways and at many levels of responsibility – teachers, school leaders, students themselves and parents. Here Peter Hudson explains why listening is vital for school leaders.
My top five
Listening is in fact invaluable in schools in all sorts of ways and at many levels of responsibility – for teachers, school leaders, students themselves and parents. This is the first of a series of articles from Peter Hudson focusing on listening in schools. We start with teachers.
Listening and “the truth”
Revelations have shaken our trust of journalists and broadcasters and led many to question whether they are committed to seeking the truth and fairness or are driven largely by a need to boost circulation and viewing figures. Peter Hudson explores the effectiveness of different journalistic and broadcasting approaches in establishing and reporting the facts.
How listening links with EQ and Empathy
We are all becoming increasingly aware that emotional intelligence, empathy and the ability to be a good listener are beneficial to the well-being of the individual and others. Peter Hudson explores how they are inseparably linked and how they offer a new way towards a better society.
Throughout history, good conversation has been highly valued but what are the attributes of a good conversationalist? The ability to listen, rather than eagerly searching for the next opportunity to interject, is certainly one of them. Peter Hudson sets out on a quest to find the Holy Grail of social listening and discovers the old Cuban proverb rings very true;“Listening looks easy, but it’s not simple. Every head is a world.”
Whiplash is an award winning film of the journey of a budding jazz drummer towards brilliance. Set mostly in a rehearsal studio it describes the practice, drive, suffering and pain deemed necessary, by the teacher, to achieve excellence. Whilst in many ways gripping, should we also view its basic premise as deeply disturbing, asks Peter Hudson.
Following Shakespeare’s advice, “Listen to many, speak to a few,” is easier said than done. Yet, as Peter Hudson suggests, most of us will recognise, from personal experience, the sentiments expressed by Carl Rogers when describing the beneficial impact of someone really listening to you. This applies to children of all ages and adults alike.
Dr Eugene Heimler developed an innovative and unique form of psychotherapy, the Heimler Method of Social Functioning, which has enabled countless individuals to find meaning and new direction in their lives and turn frustration and disengagement into creativity and involvement. Peter Hudson provides a very personal review of Dr Heimler’s account of some of the experiences that helped mould his now widely used counselling techniques.
No understanding of the power of listening is complete without appreciating the work of Eugene – John – Heimler, a truly great listener and founder of a counselling method known as Human Social Functioning. Carl Rogers was perhaps one of the best known ‘listeners’ of the 20th Century. John Heimler is less well known, similar and yet different. It is the work of John Heimler which forms the basis of the Listening Skills Training for teachers that is taught by Consilium Education and the Motivated Learning Trust.
I was privileged to have known John and to have had him as my therapist whilst in training.
A chance conversation
I had just finished having breakfast at what used to be called a country house party in the UK. Having listened to several guests for several minutes, asking them about their work and families, I was asked what I did. ‘I teach teachers how to listen’, I replied. One of the guests, herself a retired teacher, said ‘Oh that’s the top skill in teaching!’ When I asked her what she thought the reason for that was, she said ‘It builds respect with the students and when you have that you can achieve so much more with them’.
Peter Hudson looks at how the listening skills of a teacher who had been trained in active listening skills helped support a student to find their own way to access new aspects of the school curriculum and ultimately achieve success.
Listening Quote of the Month:
As no one else can know how we perceive, we are the best experts on ourselves. Carl Rogers, 1902 – 1987
As part of a regular series of articles about listening, Peter Hudson, of Consilium Education considers the links between listening and success, and asks is the right kind of listening really happening in schools and businesses?