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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

20 Jun '14

You are not hearing me!

Posted by T.J. Addington
What does that statement mean? Do they think I need hearing aids? Or that I don't understand what they are saying? Or not paying adequate attention. Well I guess on a bad day all three are possibilities! But no, that is not usually what this statement means. In most cases what they are saying is "you must not be hearing me because you won't agree with me." Or to put it another way, "if you truly heard me, you would agree with me."

Not necessarily so!

The truth is that I do hear you but I just don't agree with you on the point you are making. Nor do I or others need to. Self definition is all about the ability to have a personal position that may well be different than someone else's position and be OK with that. Those who use the phrase "You are not hearing me" are saying the opposite: You need to adopt my position, and they are not OK with others holding a contrary position.

This phrase can actually be used to manipulate others by keeping a conversation going on the pretext that we are not hearing or understanding what the other party is saying. Truth is we did hear, we did not agree and that is that! It is not only OK but it is a sign of a self defined person. This of course does not rule out constructive dialogue between differing points of view. What it does rule out is that we are not hearing. We are but simply choose not to agree.