‘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.
6 thoughts on “How well do we LISTEN to others…”
In the two way traffic that is conversation, not only do we have to learn to be good attentive listeners. We must also take care to be effective speakers. Mindful of the listener. We should take time to prepare most especially if it is an important topic. Most communication is non verbal. Biases and preconceptions will be communicated regardless of the words spoken. Pause and encourage feedback to ensure that the intent of the words are communicated . Speakers should be mindful of the fact that what is intended, what is said and what is heard could very well be 3different things. Above all, let us remember….
Proverbs 18… 2 Fools find no pleasure in understanding
but delight in airing their own opinions….. 13 To answer before listening— that is folly and shame. May God give us the grace to be good listeners and effective speakers . Amen
You hit the nail on the head, Toyin. Most communication is non verbal. Biases and preconceptions will be communicated regardless of the words spoken. Absolutely: ‘I remember years ago in college, when we thought it was so cool to just use “body language” to ignore or respond to speakers un-attentively as opposed to actually listening and grasping the message given. Or in a relationship where there is lack of 2-way communication that leaves one side more talkative and the other rather off-point. Truly, may God help us all.
Good article, It blessed me, keep it up – Dele.
Thanks, much appreciated!
There may be barriers to listening and it is important to figure out what the barriers may be if any. As the post points out in others words, we may be “hearing” but not listening and our listening may also be selective as our hearing may also be relative to certain circumstances.
What may the barriers be? It depends on the relationship between those trying to communicate with each other, it depends on what state, shape, stage or phase the relationship is in; also it depends on the what is being discussed. Furthermore anger, integrity, and spirituality can affect “listening”. Communication is a two-way traffic and to have someone listen to you you will have to listen to what if anything that person has to say as well. At times we may have to listen to what may feel like “nagging”, “rants”, and what have you, but that may be all the communicator wants at that point in in time (for you to just LISTEN). I will like to say at this point that certain conversations require prayers and spiritual guidance before commencement especially if it is a critical issue to be discussed. In conclusion in listening start by “de-cluttering” your mind removing all the filters, biases and in-built barriers that you may have to someone that needs you to listen to them. It may just be a cry for help.Do not bluff and fluff or take all with a pinch of salt. If God in His infinite mercies can listen to us human beings as we wallow in our filth, then we should be able to take time to listen to one another.
Well said Kaylaw, ‘removing all the filters, biases and in-built barriers promotes healthy listening. Thanks.