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Listening Increases the Potential for Creativity

Listening Increases the Potential for Creativity

By in Genership, Listening | 6 comments

Effective listening goes far deeper than we understand. Master this skill and it will transform your life and business. It’s a powerful creative skill. Depending on how we listen, the outcome will influence us negatively or positively. Reading Genership 1.0: Beyond Leadership Toward Liberating the Creative Soul has given me a new insight into listening. The fundamentals in relation to listening and creativity are explained in the book.

The author David Castro states, “We can only fully understand the role of listening within creativity when we come to grips with how the mere presence of our consciousness shapes the world around us. When we listen, we open those doors that our ideas, senses and related tools select from the much broader field of possible experience. This practice gives birth to some potential avenues for interaction and development and closes off others. Listening becomes the cornerstone of creative activity.”


Don’t talk, just listen

Many times when we’re listening to someone speaking, we interrupt without realizing. Too keen to have our say, we jump in impatiently to share our story. We always seem to have something in common with what the other person is saying. It even boils down to when we are giving people a supportive shoulder. They’re crying, but instead of letting them cry, we give them a tissue. In effect, we’re stopping them from releasing their tears. They’ll stop crying to use the tissue, blow their nose and dry their eyes. It cuts off their flow.

Many years ago after the death of three loved ones, I had counseling sessions. The counselor allowed me to speak and cry. She didn’t interrupt. She simply sat and listened to my words and tears. That allowed healing to take place.

Castro shared his involvement in a unique short training (listening) exercise in 1994. Although the idea seemed simple, it was challenging. It involved being quiet for eight minutes while listening to someone else’s life story. At the end of the eight minutes, you tell your life story. While his or her story is being told, you’re not allowed to comment, ask questions or interrupt. Simply listen.

The exercise had a life changing effect on Castro in terms of listening in communication. He still uses that method today. The bottom line is this: Listening intently gives you the opportunity to grasp what’s being said without distorting the other person’s ideas with your opinions and beliefs.


The barriers that stop effective listening

Distractions and other things obstruct your ability to listen attentively. They have a damaging effect on the outcome of communication. I’ll summarize some of those barriers as described in Genership:

• “I went to the supermarket, the drugstore and the gym.” The other person responded to that statement by saying, “So, you went to the gym. Tell me about it.” This is an amplification response. It distorts the full message in order to identify with the parts we relate to. The listener picks up and discusses the parts that interest him. The rest falls by the wayside. Therefore, the essence of the whole picture is lost. The solution to effective listening is to hear the whole message. Not just pick the parts we’re curious about.

• Puppeting is when the person listening focuses on particular words in the conversation. He’ll repeat and magnify them. But he’s not really listening; he’s having a conversation with himself about what he wants to hear. It’s a deceptive way of pushing his ideas forward. The solution is to hold on to our words, encourage and allow others to speak without interruption.

• The drifting response happens when two people are talking. Yet, they’re both caught up in their own private conversation. Although the conversation seems to be linked, they’re actually communicating with themselves. Somehow, their minds wander away from listening to the other person; instead, they respond to their own related aspects of the discussion. The solution is to have total concentration on the core part of the message, and ignore minor parts.

“Listening is essential; it provides the only way to engage the power of more than one mind. Effective listening allows many minds to coordinate like computers in a network, creating exponential increases in creative power. When listening falters and ultimately fail, however, people become less and less effective, incapable of realizing their visions in reality.”


In conclusion…

Effective listening heightens the creativity within us, because we feed from genuine responses during conversations that transform and shapes our decisions. When we’re listened to, we’re inspired to be creative in all aspects of our lives.

What’s your thoughts on listening? Do you think we use our listening skills properly?


  1. Hi June,

    Very well thought out post and amazingly written. The way you described the how people react when listening to others is amazing. I was just reading the article and for every paragraph, I was nodding my head and thinking you’ve so rightly judged people.

    You know, earlier I was impatient and was one among them rushing to throw in my opinion. But for the last few years, I have calmed down and listening has become more of a habit and more important to me than speaking. After the speaker has completed, I still question to check if he or she has anything to say, and only after that throw my opinion, if needed.

    I think there’s a phase when all people are impatient and then as they grow older and experience different good and bad things in life, they become calmer and more of a listener. Just my thoughts! 🙂

    BTW, I still remember your request on my log and due to some projects, I couldn’t work out on the post. I will do that in the upcoming week. I didn’t forget it. 🙂

    Good day!
    Mainak Halder recently posted…How to Create 125 X 125 Ad Space in Your Blog Sidebar Even If You Don’t Know CodingMy Profile

    Mainak Halder

    September 4, 2014

    • Hi Mainak,

      Thanks for visiting and commenting.

      This post was interesting to write. A lot of us really don’t know how to listen properly. I tried the eight minutes exercise with my daughter. As soon as she started to speak I butted in. She did the same to me. That exercise is amazing and it’s something I need to practice. I know it will help my listening skills. It’s so important, especially in business when it comes to listening to clients’ feedback and taking project briefs etc.

      I’m glad to hear you’ve master the art of effective listening. A lot of us should take a leaf out of your book.

      You’re right by saying as people get older, their patience increases. It comes with life experiences and wisdom.

      And yes, I’m looking forward to reading Your tutorial. Glad you haven’t forgotten to write it. 🙂

      Enjoy the rest of the day.

      June Whittle

      September 4, 2014

  2. I think it is great when we talk about listening. Truly listening to another person with your mind silent and accepting is a great sign of respect. To take the time to try and understand what is being said not just the words but the emotion behind the words is a skill I think most should practice.


    November 26, 2014

    • I agree with everything you just said. When someone is talking and we take our time (hard as it is sometimes) to listen attentively to what they’re saying, is a sign of respect. It shows respect for what they’re saying and respect for them as a person. And learning to understand the emotion behind what is being said, will reveal the emotional health of the person speaking. If you truly listen you’ll be able to know if that person is happy and sad. You’ll detect it in their voice, as well as from their words.

      Thanks for sharing your thought and for stopping by. 🙂 I hope to see you again.

      June Whittle

      November 26, 2014

  3. Great article! I can certainly relate: In college, I came down with laryngitis at the height of senior year and the fun festivities surrounding graduation.

    I couldn’t speak at all vocally (all that came out was a hoarse whisper) and being a singer, that was my worst nightmare. Thankfully all my finals recitals were out of the way but because I couldn’t talk to my friends, I found myself observing when we were all together as a group.

    Not waiting for a turn to speak forced me to notice little things about our interactions as friends I hadn’t noticed before. Even after my vocal chords healed themselves, I remember to, when I speak with someone, let them exhaust themselves with speech. Sometimes even waiting a beat or two after they finish a thought can allow for more and deeper thoughts. By being an ear, that is what we can provide.

    Again, a great read!

    • Thank you Samantha.

      I love your story. Not many people would use the situation you were in to develop their listening skills. That’s amazing. And you’re so right, when you allow the person speaking a few more minutes, they always add something more meaningful to the conversation.

      I used to have a problem with not listening (still do sometimes) because I was so excited to get my points across. I didn’t give the other person a chance to speak. Actually, it’s quite a selfish thing to do. Plus, when you’re not actively listening, you’re not really hearing what they’re saying. Or you could misinterpret what they mean.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it.

      Have a good weekend. 🙂

      June Whittle

      May 20, 2016


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