To observe – to become aware of what is going on around you each day. To notice things that yesterday you may have missed, walked right by, or failed to see or hear. To pause long enough to see and hear what is happening at home, at work, and in the community. To recognize that which is, or that which is happening right here, right now.
When what I say is not what you hear, I have a responsibility to help you hear my message. As a listener, you have the responsibility to communicate what you’ve heard so that we know whether we are understanding each other. One of my favorite things to say when I know I’m not understanding someone is “Will you tell me that again using different words please?” This way I have a better sense of what I’m being asked, being told or being asked to do. On occasion, I find myself asking for a third version of what is being said to make sure that I really am following what is being said. Communication is always a two-way street full of speakers and listeners.