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Explore meaning behind Chinese character composition#5

We all know the importance of active listening. But how well do we truly listen? Let’s take a cue from the composition of the Chinese  character “Listen” -聽(tīng) about how to use more than just your ears to listen actively. 

.Let’s examine the Chinese character for “listen” (tīng) as seen above:

(top left) = ear. You use your ear to hear the sounds of a communication.

(bottom left) = king. The three lines represent heaven, the people, and earth. The king rules over all three. Whoever is talking is king.

十目(top right) = ten and eye. Observe the speaker carefully (think non-verbals) as if you had ten eyes instead of just two.

(middle right) = one. Give your undivided attention to the one person speaking.

(bottom right) = heart. Connect with the feelings that underlay the speaker’s words.

The Chinese representation of listening involves engaging more than just your sense of hearing. You must use your sense of sight, touch, and perhaps even smell or taste to fully engage.

To listen effectively, you must pay attention to the speaker with your eyes, ears, mind, and heart. You must observe carefully and understand the feelings that underlay the words. By doing so, you create a connection with the speaker and can better comprehend the message being conveyed.

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