are you really listening?

First there was the Club flyer to work on, then a letter to write to our Compassion child, then a picture to work on for a friend… TODAY, hopefully, I’ll finally get to sorting my kazillions of other photos!!

Meanwhile ("back at the ranch…"), more notes. (As I sit in my new, extremely-comfortable chair, and wear a red pony-tail band in honour of Canada Day.)

We I (since Dustie isn’t here) forgot to explain the title "Called to Come Alongside", beyond the obvious–the Greek word used for "comfort" in the Bible, especially the New Testament references I think, also means "come alongside".

The tool of "reflecting back" is one that The Marriage Course also gives time for demonstration and practise. It means putting in your own words, what you have heard the person say to you. In The Marriage Course, the couple takes turns, and the one doing the initial talking (about some issue), holds something like a white napkin, to remind the other one not to interrupt. This is difficult, but even harder is when you’re reflecting back, you must not insert your opinion, excuses, etc. You are merely giving back a sum of what you’ve heard, to ensure that you’ve understood it correctly, and to show that you’ve been listening–that you care.

Added to that tool, Chris taught us (and had us practise) the "perception check". This starts with a "stem" like "I get the impression that…", "I’m wondering if…", "I sense that…", "Is it possible that…" etc. Then you use a "feeling word" and end with a question like "Am I correct?" or "Is that right?" You never start/use "you", because that would sound accusatory; the perception check is never judgemental. Here is an example:

"It sounds to me as if you were delighted with the response to your youth program last month. Right?" ("Delighted" is the feeling word.)

Next up: "Neuro-linguistic programming" and the "creative question".

Walk to Rivendell:  The weather turns wet during the day today.  ( :) Well, it IS supposed to…)

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