THE ART OF LISTENING

THE ART OF LISTENING

Most people listen without hearing.

Leonardo Da Vinci.

How many of us have ever been in this position? Your friend is confiding in you, telling you something of utmost importance to him or her but instead you are concerned about having the perfect reply that when your friend eventually stops talking, the only thing you can muster is ‘hmmm’ or any other noncommittal noise because in reality you paid zero attention while trying to find a good enough response when he or she is done. How many times have our family members or friends told us something, we can’t remember ever hearing? How many times have we sat in a meeting for hours without really hearing anything being said?And how many times have we being unable to listen because we were too busy talking rather than paying attention? You were more concerned about getting to the end of the story than listening as the story progressed.

 

Forget what you were about to say, make sure you hear what the other person has to say.

Eugene Raudsepp.

In the world today, we are all concerned with talking and hearing ourselves talk but very few people have grasped the art of listening. You listen to hear and not to reply. When you really listen, the focus is taken away from you as a person and put on the other person. It is no longer about you the listener but about the speaker. We miss important information because we fail to listen with full attention. We listen with just one ear or in most cases, it enters into one and flies right out through the other.

 

I remember as a child, my mother was almost always frustrated with me due to my poor listening habit.

She will be speaking to me, and I will be body present but spirit absent. I could hear all she had to say but most times it just flew into one ear and disappeared right through the other. I can’t remember how many times I had to do a u-turn  and get back home just to ask my mother to repeat what she already said a lot of times. Eventually, she took to ensuring I take notes while she speaks.

Listening is an art that requires work, self discipline and skill. We need to really pay attention when another is talking rather than jump in to give our own opinion.Communication is a two way street that requires listening as well as speaking. Thus, as well as knowing when to use our words, we also have to understand when to close our mouths and listen.

The best persons in communication are the ones who have mastered the art of listening because in listening you hear even the unspoken words. When you really listen to what a person has to say, you also take into consideration the body language and nonverbal cues being given and this to a great extent helps you understand the motive as well as the emotion behind those words.

The art of listening is what it is, an ‘art’. It is an art that takes practice and self discipline to master. It is usually easy to jump right in and state our own opinions rather than wait to hear what is being said. The art of listening when mastered is capable of changing your life for the better and also causes people to pay attention to you the more.
Listening is important because in listening, we communicate more. Our level of listening to an extent determines our level of communication. You must listen not just to a person’s words but also to the person’s body language and that way you listen not just to what the person says but also, what the person feels. It is not a passive activity rather it is the vital ingredient in any succesful conversation. It is an art to ve learnt. We have to learn to listen.

Listen Well, Listen Hard!!!

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