The Six Rules of Listening
By: Erich Fromm
- The basic rule for practicing this art is the complete concentration of the listener.
- Nothing of importance must be on his mind, he must be optimally free from anxiety as well as from greed.
- He must possess a freely-working imagination which is sufficiently concrete to be expressed in words.
- He must be endowed with a capacity for empathy with another person and strong enough to feel the experience of the other as if it were his own.
- The condition for such empathy is a crucial facet of the capacity for love. To understand another means to love him – love in the sense of reaching out to him and of overcoming the fear of losing oneself.
- Understanding and loving are inseparable. If they are separate, it is a cerebral process and the door to essential understanding remains closed.