How well do we LISTEN to others…

‘And how well do we want others to listen to us?
Conversation is a vocal competition in which the one who is catching his breath is called the listener. And in between the line of expression during that conversation: There’s a message: A clue or denial! A call for Sympathy! Cry for help or approval! Pain or exaggerated accomplishment! Broken heart or contagious joy! Another soul begging to be saved – If only we are able to listen well.

How often have you been in a conversation where both of you entirely missed what each other had to say. You went away mumbling, “He never listens” or “She didn’t hear a thing I said.” It seems to me that most of the conversations we have as human beings are competitive. We are much more interested in arguing for our own position, making a witty comeback, poking holes in what the other person is saying, or telling our own counter-story to the story that the other person is telling.

Listening for the purpose of better understanding is different from listening for specific information. A good listener listens for objections and tries to figure out what response will be given while he or she is listening. Listening is selective and goal oriented. If you have ever had a friend or spouse, who kept on pitching you when at home, you know that selective goal driven listening has its place but does not promote unity or understanding. Someone who tries to “sell” himself or herself or be right by selling their ideas can appear insecure. Listening to be right or to win an argument is not listening that helps develop trust at home or morale at work.

And sometimes, we are interested in hearing what the other person is saying, we are faced toward the other person and have eye contact. But, we sit there like an empty cup simply letting the other person fill it up with words. You don’t give any non-verbal cues that you are listening – no head nods or facial expression that suggests you are with the speaker. There’s a big difference between merely hearing someone’s words and really listening for the person’s message or feeling.

The most satisfying and helpful form of listening is Active Listening. The speaker gets that idea that you are really listening because you are face to face, eye to eye, you provide non-verbal movements that pace the speaker, you make brief comments that echo the person’s message and you paraphrase what the person said occasionally to make sure you understand. It really feels good when someone listens to you that attentively.

Moving forward, let us develop active listening skills. If we have to listen to others – let’s be more attentive and passionate about it – who knows, between the lines of the message – we are the point of contact they need to connect to their destiny. And the benefits will come back to us as blessings.
Claim a sacred space today – be a good Listener!

May God help us all!
#Moving Forward With Yinka.