October 5, 2012 Redux in 2016

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Oct. 5 ~ Civility supports the dignity of all persons by allowing all to be heard. #civility

*It’s easy to try to shout over someone. It’s easy to judge someone as not worthy of being heard. Give the gift of hearing someone out. Dignity is a mutual possession, we cannot deny it to one and save it for another.

There is a difference between allowing someone to speak, and listening to them. We have all been in situations where we had a voice, but no one else had ears. A great measure of dignity is afforded to both the speaker and listener when a person is given the gift of being heard.

Letting people speak is a good thing… it is respectful and civil. And it is usually for the most part passive. When we really listen we move from passive to active. Look at the other person, make eye contact, set aside distractions.

Don’t just try to think of the quickest, strongest retort while someone speaks. Instead, listen and let their words be fully spoken, fully heard, and then have a moment to their own. Taking time like this can help both the speaker and listener understand what was said. It’s also amazing how an active, attentive listener can help the speaker focus on their words for greater clarity and efficacy.

We’re talking about actual communication happening! That’s a good thing! It’s a great thing! It’s an affirming partnership even in disagreement.

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