The Art of Listening
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
― Stephen R. Covey,
In today’s fast-paced world, we listen to many things around us, but do we listen? Do we hear what is being said and what is not being said?
The Webster Dictionary defines “listen” as follows:
To hear a structure; “Listen to the sound of the waterfall.”
Listen and be careful. “Listen to your teacher.”
Pay special attention.
We say we listen, but almost none of us listen 100% of the time. What if we did?
Listening is an art, and when we listen, it has benefits for us and those we listen to. In other words, we all win and be proficient in the art of listening, and we must practice it; We want to be a keynote speaker to avoid all things that impede our hearing effectively.
How can you get over all the noise and distraction, listen to what you hear, and get what is being said?
Be an active listener; You want to hear instead of just hearing what is being said. Show interest in what is being communicated to you. Do not close your eyes elsewhere in the room. Check the time and focus on hearing what is being said.
Don’t be judged. Don’t get involved. Stay tuned for what they say! Put any “noises” aside and listen with an open mind. Examples of “noise” include: the person talking to you has a huge piece of spinach tucked between your front teeth, or you are in a meeting, and all you can think about is the presentation you need to make in the second half of the meeting.
Don’t think about what you want to say in response to any call until you hear the speaker! As listeners, we feel much faster than anyone speaks, causing us to assume a lot about what to say before the speaker finishes.
Hear what is being said and the language of the speaker’s body. Much of the communication is nonverbal, and sometimes we can learn a lot about what is being said or how the speaker feels by following their physical cues as we listen to what they are saying.
When you are in a place where you can’t come and listen, either mentally or physically, let the person talking to you know. Ask if you can talk at another time and set that right time. Tell them that their connection is essential, they do not want to miss anything, and you have to take care of something else to be entirely present to them and what they want to say.
Think how different the world would be if we showed people respect, really listening to what they have to say. What if, instead of being caught, distracted, boycotted, or avoiding a topic together, we slowed down long enough to hear what people had to say? Being skilled in the art of listening can change your relationships, your worldview, and even the way people listen to and look at you.
When you show respect for others and truly listen to them, they will do the same for you. With that in mind, keep in mind what you can learn and the fact that there is no better way to create listening to what you have to say than to listen to yourself.
Have You Mastered the Art of Listening?
Don’t you like people who listen to what he has to say? Aren’t you frustrated by those who don’t listen? We all have experiences with both types, and the best way to deal with it is to study yourself. If you want to change others, start with the analysis and change, right? Have you mastered the art of listening? Yes, obedience is an art. Like anything else in life, compliance is an art that must be learned.
I know some individuals close and dear to me who, unfortunately, suffer from the confusion of the mind with preconceived beliefs and ideas about the world around them, so they have a continuous inner dialogue that continues in their heads. When I talk to them, I realize from the look in their eyes and how they interact with me that they hadn’t heard a word I said and that they were already thinking and deciding what they wanted to hear, depending on their preconceptions and their understanding or lack of knowledge of the situation in question. So I can only reach them and raise my voice and ask them to stop and listen! This usually shocks them for a second, so they leave the mono recording of their internal dialogue. Then miracles can happen that they will listen carefully for a minute before returning to the inner dialogue recorded by self-service! Does it sound complicated? How about that then, I’m talking to someone whose mind is already busy preparing their answer, while I’m still talking to him, so they’ve already made up their minds about what they’re going to say, no matter what I say!
To truly listen to someone talking to you, you need to be focused entirely on the moment, focus on the present, look at yourself, and have an empty mind to hear, receive, and process the information passed to you. Concentration and concentration is the key to good listening. It doesn’t matter if you’re listening to a family member, a friend, a presentation, a video, or a radio broadcast. Either you listen wholly focused when you really care, or you listen with half an ear, your mind busy with other thoughts, or you close entirely and do not hear at all what is being said as it fades into the background. You may also go through all three stages while listening to a broadcast or having a long conversation with someone you know well.
With all our technical gadgets today and everyone’s noses buried in smartphones, people can barely talk to each other, let alone hear what other people have to say. I have no idea how young people communicate these days and if anyone ever listens to someone else. It also happens in the best families. Imagine this scenario. We often see it in movies! Both parents are in a hurry to go to work, the children have a quick breakfast before going to school, and one of the children tries to draw his mother or father’s attention to some problems. Still, no one listens, so everyone is busy with impulses. The child who has a problem is ignored. The same thing happens between couples. Everyone seems so busy that no one has time for anyone, let alone listen!
If you want to have a good relationship with your boyfriend, partner, daughter, son, mother-in-law, boss, co-workers, neighbors, or whoever you talk to, and you want to be remembered as a “nice” person, an “authentic” person who cares and listen, you might focus on mastering the art of listening. This is one of the most critical skills to possess in life. Start by listening and collect the rewards that will be spent for you.
Here are some tips to help you along the way:
Keep an open mind, listen and grow. Closed minds have a way to lose weight.
Get rid of clutter and expand. Busy minds ruin your life.
Let people speak without interrupting them. Showing respect will earn you respect.
Show understanding and compassion, even when you disagree. People will then hear what you have to say.
Never underestimate and humiliate people, no matter how stupid they may be to you. Brave Instead, bring out the best in people, and you’ll gain a few fans.
Good communication works both ways – speak clearly to express yourself and listen carefully to what other people have to say. Make an effort to practice the art of listening and watch your relationships flourish.
How to Improve Your Listening Skills
You know that you need to practice the art of listening when you are not properly instructed. Or when your colleague hits you in the head with a folded copy of yesterday’s paper because he’s been calling you five minutes now, and you haven’t heard anything.
If you do not have a severe ear infection or are already dead, it is straightforward to learn the art of listening again. I say re-learn because you were a good listener. When I was in kindergarten, that’s it.
So how do you cultivate the art of listening? Try these steps on your own!
Step 1: Practice active listening.
We take our ears and their ability to hear for granted. We believe that we understand the whole message because we can listen to what our boss has to say.
Often, the situation is precisely the opposite. You will be amazed at how quickly we are distracted by the most mundane things. You might think about how your clothes will fit while your boss tells you essential details about the project.
To avoid distractions, you need to practice active listening. Don’t just listen to the words, but listen to them and try to understand their relationship with you. Pushing yourself consciously to attend will not get your mind too lost.
Second step: reinforce the message.
The art of listening can be a challenge for those who find it difficult to concentrate. One way to improve your listening skills is to repeat your head’s mental message while the speaker is speaking.
This is similar to the note-taking technique while the teacher is discussing the lesson. Not everyone is aware of this great trick. By consolidating the message in your head, you are less likely to forget it afterward.
Third step: Do not interrupt.
Even if you have something to say, the art of listening forces, you to keep your thoughts until the end of the speaker. This way, you will be able to hear everything fully.
Interruptions affect not only the speaker but also the listener. If you’re worried that your questions are being forgotten, always bring a pen and paper with you. This way, you can write down any of your questions and remember to ask them as soon as the speaker has finished the conversation.
Some Helpful Listening Tips
Here are some helpful listening tips to help you listen more carefully and keep what you’ve heard. Fruitful obedience is not natural. You have to work on this.
Listening is an essential skill in many areas of work and personal life. It is also one of the most challenging skills to become a master. You are naturally more focused on what you say or will say than what you hear from the person you are talking about. As a general rule, people believe that the information they pass on is more important than what others say.
Listening can also seem more difficult because people don’t work on it as often as they should. Hearing is not the same as hearing. Hearing is effortless, but listening requires it.
Try to focus on what the other person is saying. When you listen to someone, don’t let your mind wander about other things you might be thinking about. Have you ever, in the middle of a conversation, suddenly realized that you didn’t hear everything the person said? This is because you are busy thinking about other things or what to say. Your brain uses nowhere near its capacity when you listen to the rhythm that most people speak. You can capitalize on this mental strength through listening tips to become a more effective listener.
Please send a message to the person speaking without speaking to let them know that you are listening. When someone says to you, keep eye contact. He nods to show that you are listening. Allow your body language to express that you are listening. Lean forward and do not play with things with your hands.
Do not judge what the speaker tells you. Don’t assume that you know what the speaker will say next. You can physically listen faster than the speaker’s ability to speak, so you should be able to pick up everything you need in the conversation.
Don’t be defensive. This is one of the most critical listening tips. Don’t take things personally, even if it seems to be. You will not always agree with the speaker’s opinion, but you can listen carefully and disagree with your view. If you spend a lot of time explaining your position, you may not hear everything the speaker has to say. If your role changes from listening and * then * expressing your opinions to thinking about proving that the person is wrong, you are no longer actively listening.
Practice formulating what you feel the person is saying to make sure you “understand” the point they are trying to say. Paraphrasing is a very effective way to let the speaker know that you are listening. Listen carefully to tell the person that you are listening and ask them to tell you more about their concerns.
Good books have been written on “The art of Listening”. Some of them include: –
Ø Power Listening: Mastering the Most Critical Business Skill of All by Bernard T. Ferrari
Ø Active Listening 101: How to Turn Down Your Volume to Turn Up Your Communication Skills by Emilia Hardman
Ø Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What the Most Effective People Do Differently by John C. Maxwell
Link for some learnings: –