Are you listening or waiting to speak?
“The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place”, observed the father of modern drama Sir George Bernard Shaw. People speak to be heard and understood. People speak because they trust you. People speak to share their ideas, express their opinion. They value you as a listener. It is our responsibility to value them as speakers. Do not break their trust. Do not show distrust. Listen to people with open mind and see the change you will experience in your communication. Be a valuable listener. You will always be in demand.
Most people give a miss to what others say. People listen either superficially or partially. As a matter of fact the faculty of listening is often confused with the ability to hear. ‘Listening’ is completely different from ‘hearing’. While hearing is an involuntary action, listening is a voluntary process. One can control, filter and command this process. Listening is a conscious exercise which demands attention and practice.
Communication is a two way process. It is said to be complete only when the receiver receives the message and offers a feedback to the sender. The feedback ensures the completion of the process. The listener can evoke an appropriate response only if he displays effective listening skills.
What qualities enable one to be an effective listener?
- Sensitive and sympathetic attitude
- Respect for the speaker
- Listening beyond the spoken words
- Listening to respond not to react
Indifference, lack of interest, impatience, ego and disrespect are the primary barriers to effective listening.
How listening can help you become a good communicator?
Well, God gave us two ears and one mouth so that we could listen more and speak less. The reality is that though we struggle hard to speak and express ourselves we rarely make an effort to lend a sympathetic ear. Listening makes you aware of the needs, interest and feelings of the people around you. Good speakers are naturally good listeners. They build their knowledge of the universe based on their observations of what people think, how people behave and what people want. If you know your people , you will improve your relationship with them, you will win more customers , you will have more followers, Above all you will be happy and contended.
Here are few important tips to evolve your listening skills:
- Take interest in what others have to say
- Be sensitive, do not be critical
- Appreciate and accept the difference in opinion
- Do not argue, do not counter, offer constructive feedback
- Listen to act not to react
- Overcome your ego. Others have a point too
Hope you are listening. There is so much to be heard.
Sharpen your ears!