What’s missing is not skill


I’m reading a book about teaching communication skills. Everything it says is good and sound and mostly useless.

Skill is not what’s missing when it comes to communicating. You were born into the world a master of communication and nothing will change that.

What’s missing in your conversations is presence. Presence is the difference between listening and listening to your listening. As soon as you get outside your always already listening, there is your mastery, patiently abiding.

There too is your love and wonder.


Image: Approach to a City III (1969) by Jeffrey Smart


11 thoughts on “What’s missing is not skill

  1. When learning new communication skills, we have a motivation. It is motivation that distorts those very skills. to communicate is one thing, to cause a desired outcome is another, motivation needs integrity to make the message of any value, then maybe add morfe skills.


    • You raise a good point. Motivation (I also call it commitment, and in this context it’s also an example of always already listening) determines our communication, not lack of skill. The difficulty arises because mostly we’re not present to our motivation; it’s hidden from us.


  2. What an interesting and significant distinction between listening and listening to one’s own listening. I understand what you’re saying and am going to observe what is happening with my listening in the future.


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