I heard Dominic Barter (the Restorative Justice guy from my last post) say something interesting about the word intelligent. He told us what the word actually means. Do you know what the word intelligent means? Smart? Wise? Knowledgable? Bright?
It comes from the word intelligere and is comprised of two parts: inter + legere. Inter = between and legere = read or choose. Intelligence is the ability to read between the lines. Anybody can read what’s on the lines – it’s the intelligent person who can extrapolate and read between the lines – connecting the dots to uncover the hidden meaning.
So intelligent listening is the ability to read between the lines – bringing a blend of intense interest and refreshing directness that pulls out the deepest meaning possible in any situation.
Intelligent Listening is one of the most demanding expressions of love- demanding not only immense psychological effort but a transparent authenticity that is just unfake-able. I’m passionate about helping leaders learn to be intelligent listeners because intelligent listening releases emotional engagement – the magnetic element that unlocks four times the discretionary effort of rational engagement.
Walk into your next conversation with the curiosity that will enable you to read between the lines – then do the implication reflection – reflecting back to the the speaker what their words might mean to them – inside their world. Demonstrating this level of understanding in conversation distunguishes you as an intelligent listener.
Co-Founder of Juice Inc, Thought Leader & Author
Co-Founder of Juice Inc.
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