“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen”- Winston Churchill.
Let’s first ask ourselves
Are we good in listening? Are we present in a conversation to participate by listening as well as talking, or just putting our thoughts across, the only agenda? As they say, “there is a difference between truly listening and waiting for your turn to talk.”
Listener or Speaker: who are we?
Which category do you belong to? One who listens to actually listen and comprehend what the orator wishes to put across as his point or the one who listens to just listen, his counter point is already fueling in his prejudiced mind. Mostly we fall in the second category.
Why Being a Good Listener is Important?
The art of conversation lies in listening.
Most people do not listen with an intent to understand; they listen with an intent to reply. Technically if you see, god has bestowed us all with two ears and one mouth. So, we should be putting them to judicial use and talk less and listen more. But does that happen? We, be it at individual level or at a group level, have this tendency to cut short the person who is speaking and present our own views on the topic in discussion.
Patience is the key.
Patience is rarely practiced in conversations. Everyone is eager to speak. Speakers never seem to put their thoughts or mind to rest. Listeners are less and speakers are more now a days. Ever wondered if all will talk who will listen. Its very important to be a good listener. One of the sincerest forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.
“If speaking is silver, then listening is gold.”
Blessed are those people who have mastered the art of listening. There is only one rule of being a good speaker – one should be a good listener first. In a conversation, when we talk, we are repeating what we already know. But if we listen, we may learn something new. It’s always good to have a perception to a discussion that is different from ours. Agree to disagree is based on good listening skills.
Being open to good content received through hearing out others will do a value addition that we will benefit for long. One of the greatest skills that any leader can master is becoming comfortable with silence. This in no manner is suggestive that one should not speak. The purpose is to convey that speaking and not hearing out will not do much benefit.
Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you
And listen in such a way that others love to speak to you.
We have to listen like every sentence matter, talk like every word count. Interruption of a discussion is not a wise man trait. You often miss out on vital information that could have been yours had you not broken the chain of thoughts of the orator. Many organisations are very careful in the recruitment of top management posts in their company. Even if a person is multi-talented but he is big on talking they always prefer such people to be below the best in the chain of command.
Reason: the fear of divulgence of information due to more of speaking and less of listening rules against him. To be able to attain success in life, listening has to be practiced and perfection has to be reached. Too much of talking is considered noise to the ears.
This is How I Became a Good Listener
Citing my own example, I love to listen. You can easily pass this as my hobby. Observing people along with listening to them very attentively has been my second nature.The mind and the thoughts can be gauged. A person entire character can be summed up by the way he speaks and the thoughts that he has. It becomes easy to decipher the real intention of the person by listening to every detail he offers in his talks. And trust me, to be a good listener, you don’t have to do any hard work, just keep your mind and mouth at rest.
For me, listening is a win – win situation. Has always worked in my favour. Helps me to gauge what the other person has to say and then form an opinion or an answer and convey it. I make it a point to maintain eye contact when someone is speaking, as looking elsewhere is very distractive. Keep the phone away. I also make it a point to keep my phone away when I am in a discussion. Gazing at the phone not only makes the speaker feel bad and unwanted, chances of our missing out on important points also increases. And the best advantage of being a good listener is that you can produce the same conversation anywhere else in a similar situation.
This not only widens your own horizon of knowledge but also gives a chance to other people to form an opinion about your learned self. Although I won’t deny that I do get zoned out many a times. My span of attention gets distracted and my mind wanders elsewhere before the other person is done talking. Well, in such a situation, the best thing to do is to take a break. Explain the situation to the speaker, and resume when both are ready again. The energy and the zeal with which the conversation will continue will just be incomparable.
All these years of my life, listening to the content has been super productive. You never know what strikes your mind and becomes a golden mine. Being present to the surroundings, being open to discussions, being aware of the environment makes us a better human. And if we develop good listening skills, then there is no stopping us to lead a productive, happy and perfect life.
Let’s show some love and work together towards a happy perfect life.