Listening is one skill that opens your door to new ideas, knowledge and wisdom. It is a way to connect to the outer world. Listening enhances concentration, stretches the imagination, fosters team spirit and cooperation.
Listening is a way of paying respect and attention. It is also a journey inward, a wellspring of understanding, a manner of re- uniting with your soul. “If you learn to listen then, you will listen to learn.” Listen to understand, to evolve, to grow. Listen to enrich, to embellish your speech, to empower your thoughts, to inspire your audience.Listen to appreciate, to empathise, to enjoy, to celebrate, to expand, to share, to reciprocate.
Listen to negotiate not to retaliate, listen to discuss not to dominate, listen to discern not to disregard, listen to affirm not to repudiate, listen to eliminate barriers not to build fences.
Listening, “is an art like the understanding of poetry” and, like any art, has its own rules and norms, said renowned philosopher and psychologist Erich Fromm. Fromm offers six such guidelines for mastering the art of unselfish understanding:
- The basic rule for practising this art is the complete concentration of the listener.
- Nothing of importance must be on his mind, he must be optimally free from anxiety as well as from greed.
- He must possess a freely-working imagination which is sufficiently concrete to be expressed in words.
- He must be endowed with a capacity for empathy with another person and strong enough to feel the experience of the other as if it were his own.
- The condition for such empathy is a crucial facet of the capacity for love. To understand another means to love him — not in the erotic sense but in the sense of reaching out to him and of overcoming the fear of losing oneself.
- Understanding and loving are inseparable. If they are separate, it is a cerebral process and the door to essential understanding remains closed.
Sometimes, just sit back and listen. You will discover how listening becomes a supreme form of meditation.