No, no, this is not an early reminder of the caroling you’ll hear over the next few weeks. It’s a question about what you HEAR. The question could be said “do you hear what I said? or “do I hear what you said?”. We often think the person in front of us who is nodding in agreement is really understanding exactly what we are saying. Most likely, it is not the case. The other person comes to the conversation with their experiences, perspectives, attitudes and points of reference as do we. These elements become filters are used to “hear” what is being said. We must be aware that “filtering” is a given when we interact with people.
When someone isn’t responding to what you are saying in an expected way – ask yourself if there are other ways to interpret what you have said. Ask the other person what they heard. Were they even listening? With so many distractions today it is easy to have one’s attention wander. Combine that with our natural tendency to filter, its VERY easy to misunderstand the message. Make your conversations interactive by asking questions that engage the other person. These questions & answers can even validate that the message is being delivered! Try it you might be surprised at how helpful a little attention to this can provide clarity. Keep the question ‘do you hear what I hear’ close at hand to remind yourself to check in on understanding.