Time and time again, we are admonished that we do not listen. In any communication lecture, you would invariably be told that of all the skills of communication the most vital one is the art of listening. The trouble is, almost all our life we have ended up as listeners and there is a certain amount of boredom, lack of motivation and prejudice against the speakers and or topics, that we have developed over the years. Part of the reason can be attributed to ineffective teachers who bored us to tears, part of the reason could be that we were forced into listening to boring lectures on boring subjects and the rest of the problem could be attributed to sheer indifference we have developed over the years. Criticism whether from parents, teachers, friends, well wishers, colleagues or bosses (especially at appraisal time) and worse of all from the spouse, have just hardened us to pay a deaf year to the feedback received. All in all, over the years, we have become indifferent, immune and largely deaf to any most forms of communication especially those that we dislike, disapprove or dread.
However, it is never too late to change and begin afresh. Bear these facts in mind when focusing on listening. The first thing to remember is that listening is not a passive activity but an activity one must actively engage in. This means we need to take the effort of listening. The next thing to keep in mind is that when listening all our senses are engaged. While the ears absorb the spoken word, every other sense also absorbs the signals relevant to them. Hence any form of distraction be it noise, smell, weather changes, movement etc. influence the quality of our listening. The third and most important element of listening is to understand the essence of listening; which is wanting to hear. Unless we want to hear, find a motivation to hear, pay attention to the entire communication and not be selective in our listening, we could misunderstand, partially understand, miss out on key information or interpret the communication conveniently.
Once we begin to appreciate and adopt good listening skills the process of our personal improvement and growth would be enhanced dramatically. This is because we learn to value the lessons, however unpleasant or critical that we interpret from the communication signals received from around us. We also begin to value and respect our strengths by listening to the positive and encouraging responses we get. The value we derive from listening is maximized when we explore opportunities, dare to take risks, begin to change, learn to appreciate and never get discouraged.
Remember that the word LISTEN comprises of the same alphabets that form the word SILENT. So the more silently you absorb the communication that is around the better your listening skills. Make the world your GURU by simply listening to everyone and everything around. Absorb, learn, implement, change !
- What is your favorite joke that you enjoy sharing with friend’s. Did you notice that it is how keenly the other person listens to you, that makes the joke effective. More importantly the joke may have something absurd and illogical that actually triggers the punch of the joke. Conventional listening, where logic and order are essential do not trigger the response as much as the non auditory visualization does.
- Here are some non auditory listening challenges
- Take a standard deck of cards and find out the only one eyed king in it. Also note the subtle differences between the Jacks as also the four different queens in the deck.
- Ask a friend to prepare a bag full of assorted articles. Without seeing the articles but by merely putting your hand in the bag and feeling the articles try and identify each of them.
- Blindfold yourself and ask a friend to hand over various currency notes into your hand. Identify the denomination of those notes.
- How often have you entered your house, smelled the food being cooked and decided what kind of a meal to expect?
This post is courtesy www.actspot.com
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