My use of the term “confirm” is intended to mean “I hear and understand you” and not by parroting the speaker, but in a listener’s own words. “So what you are saying——-” and if in accord with the speaker’s intentions the speaker feels heard, understood and confirmed. Wow!
I cannot over emphasize the importance of confirmation to the speaker. Any speaker of substance believes they offer words and thoughts that have value worth the listener’s time and attention. I also go deeper by suggesting that the listener’s confirmation of the speaker and what they hear and understand, nurtures the speaker to go deeper into their subject matter. Simply, how else does the speaker know that the listener listens and understands? And what of the few that may appear to listen to the speaker, but are somewhere else? How is it possible for speaker and participants to connect; and, if not connected, why be teacher, leader, role model to them?
Experience is my teacher: In the service I held weekly gatherings discussing current news, taught elementary school children, and trained my own young staff on how to work with children. Eventually I led workshops with professionals, entrepreneurs, leaders and their Inner Circles. In very little time I discovered that many of my listeners did not always listen. So like the professional comic dealing with a raucous audience I developed an easy way of bringing listeners to the table and being present. As I wrote in a recent paper, I frequently stopped talking and questioned my supposed listeners to tell me what they heard, thought, feel, etc. about what I said. I asked for their opinions, I invited dialogue even if my understanding of the significance of dialogue was years away.
From the speaker’s view point checking on what people hear and understand is essential and needs to occur often. This is also a training device that over time brings even the most reticent to “the table.” Finally, if a speaker feels that what they have to say is important and necessary they need to take as much responsibility as required to get their message across. Bringing listeners to the point of dialogue, questioning, even agreement or disagreement is a gift shared to the betterment of all, including the speaker. Sy
I have this to say————–All I ask, that you listen———-Agree, disagree.