finite and infinite listening

18 there is a world within

“The minute we begin to think we have all the answers, we forget the questions.”**

I’ve heard enough!

We find it really hard to keep listening.

What if you haven’t heard enough?  What if we’ve been asking finite questions rather than infinite ones?

We know the kind of things that get in the way of listening, and not listening leads to many misunderstandings:

Finite listening and finite questions lead to finite possibilities.  They’re usually concerned with finding out why you haven’t done what you were supposed to do, why we didn’t keep to the rules.

Infinite listening and infinite questions leads to infinite possibilities.  These are more concerned with knowing why you aren’t exploring your potential and flourishing, why you aren’t creating new and better rules.

The infinite listener with her infinite questions opens the way for others to find their voices, ‘through the silence of wonder, a healing and holy metaphor that leaves everything still to be said.’^

(*Madeleine L’Engle, quoted in Michael Bungay Stanier’s The Coaching Habit.)
(**From James Carse’s Finite and Infinite Games.)


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