71 argumentThe first delusion of audition (i.e. listening) is this: most of the time, you are listening to what you’re saying inside your head…and not to the person you think you’re hearing.

It’s a delusion to think I’m hearing you when, in fact, I’m listening to my own commentary on whatever it is I may think you’re saying.

How many times have you been in an argument with someone and discovered that the messages became so garbled it was impossible to comprehend one another?

You walked away wondering if you were having two conversations, not one…

Unless both of you have trained yourselves in the rigor of generous listening, it’s almost impossible to have had the same conversation. And this is the second audition delusion: especially in emotionally-charged situations, you two are having separate (and private) conversations.

You each are reacting to the private conversation inside your heads—conversations the other person cannot hear! That’s a significant source of the misunderstandings that so commonly accompany relational breakdowns.

I learned this when being trained to conduct character development workshops, which today are offered by Reinvent Ministries [http://www.reinventministries.org] and Gap Community [http://gapcommunity.com]. I commend them to you.

Think of the voice inside your head as “The Competitor”.

It’s locked in a fierce competition the one you think you’re listening to.

71 pretendImagine this: After an unusually challenging day, your spouse greets you with the words: “I’m very upset about…” and recites a recurring grievance about you.

Instantly, your brain says: “Oh, no!
Not now.
Not today.
Not this again…”

And while your mate is talking your head is nodding the way it does when you pretend to be listening and you’re not.

Automatically you’re thinking about your spouse’ inconsistencies, or loop holes where the accusation wasn’t true, or the pattern of complaints that seem to dog your marriage…maybe, at that moment, you recall the voice of a critical parent or sibling from your childhood…

The Competitor has taken you down!

71 nuclearWhat happens next is a familiar but bewildering outburst of words and emotions that always ends badly for both of you.

When the nuclear dust settles you recall having said things you regret (things you don’t actually believe) and you have great difficulty recalling, in detail, what the fight was really about.

You were having separate conversations.

It happens all the time.

Doesn’t it?




                      Coaching distinctions #71.doc