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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Listening Skills

One of the most documented stories of someone being told something that he does not want to hear is that of Macbeth and the three witches. The witched prepared a brew, singing "Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble."

They told Macbeth three key things.
First, beware of Macduff.
Second, "none of woman born shall harm Macbeth."
Third, Macbeth will not be conquered until Birnam wood comes to the hill of Dunsinane.

They also told Macbeth that Banquo’s descendents will become kings.

Imagine what Macbeth must have felt as he walked back to the castle. I wonder if he actually listened to exactly what he was told or if he just heard what he wanted to hear.

We have all wondered at times if our child is actually listening to what we say. The witches spoke in scary voices – and what they said was not very pleasant.

Good listening skills require:

Attention to what someone is saying.
A willingness to understand and comprehend what has been said.
Giving the `other’ person time to finish what they are saying.

Not bursting into tears if you do not like what is being said.
Using good non-verbal signals.
Trying not to switch off when bored if you dislike what is being said.

In the end Macduff decapitated Macbeth – which is a severe punishment for not listening carefully.

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