“Between stimulans and response there is space and in that space there is your power and your freedom.” – Frenkel Frank

A good listener becomes a good communicator, someone with a positive orientation who is in touch with him/herself as well as with the world. The opposite is true as well. For instance in case we perceive the world as threatening, one way of coping with this, is by blocking, or warding off information. It’ s a protective mechanism, a subconscious process that we all go through to some extent.

We can safely say that hardly anyone does not have some sort of defence in place. However, this also comes with a price. At a certain point our listening skills may diminish and begin to indicate the first signs of a downward spiral. We are getting tired, and start making mistakes. We lose our objectivity and see things from a too limited point of view. The next step could be that we will not be able to respond to our environment anymore without misunderstandings and frustration.

This phenomenon is not age related. A restless 7 year old who is underachieving at school may just have a genuine listening problem. This is something teachers and parents should be aware of and take into consideration. See whether you can find some value in the following checklists: