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Listening October 8, 2010

Posted by daniel ayad in Behaviour.
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Listening is a very important part of communication between people. Relationships depend on it, and poor listening or simply hearing leads to many, many problems in relationships.

So how can we listen effectively and exchange a meaningful conversation?

First we need to be clear as to what listening really is. I think it is a person who does the following:

  • Maintains a close distance to the speaker – meaning that the listener and the person speaking can see each other whenever possible. The listener will stay close to the speaker, will follow the speaker wherever he/she goes, and stay in the vicinity of face-to-face communication. I believe it is very important that the listener makes every effort to be as close as possible to the person to ensure good grounds for communication. For example if the speaker is speaking from his/her room, the best action from the listener would be to walk into his/her room rather than speak miles away. You cannot establish eye contact and listening body language if you are far away. Obviously if you are communicating by phone or other forms this is not applicable.
  • Have patience when listening – the skill of listening involves what it says, listening without speaking. The best action would be to listen patiently to all that the speaker has to say until the end. This proves quite challenging and sometimes frustrating, especially when the speaker has several side talks to the original conservation, but the patience will pay off as the speaker will see the love shown by making time for them.
  • Paying attention – the listener actually has to follow the words of the conservation by limiting distractions. The listener should stop what he/she is doing temporarily and do their best to concentrate on the words spoken. This is helped by being close to the person and being patient.
  • Genuinely interested – very hard to achieve. This is helped by the speaker forgetting his/her own world for a little while and really enter with enthusiasm and interest into the mind and world of the speaker. This kind of listening is rare in our society today.  
  • Listening develops a loving connection between people – many people today feel isolated and alone, and are desperate for anyone to talk to. Many people just want somebody who will listen to them. You would be surprised as to what peoples’ words can offer – some paradox, some wisdom, some experience, some thought, some line of contemplation and curiosity[1].   

 

Obviously people have difference of opinions and agree and disagree over many things. But you will get nowhere in relationships, meetings, and daily interactions with people if you don’t take the time to listen to people. If you give up time to listen, you will be rewarded, trust me.  

Try it next time…. truly listen


[1] Fr Antonios Kaldas, Listen, will you? A blog, 2009, available at: http://www.frantonios.org.au/2009/04/01/listen-will-you/

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