ARE YOU A GOOD LISTENER?
“Listening is an art that requires attention over talent,
spirit over ego, others over self.”
– Dean Jackson
In our modern world we focus mainly on what we are saying, needing to be heard and understood. Be right, and sound good. On top of it we are so preoccupied with all the distractions around us, that we lose the capability to listen to each other.
So although 60% of our communication is listening only 25% from it is listening comprehension. Every three words in four just disappear.
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand;
they listen with the intent to reply.”
– Stephen R. Covey
We forget that listening is what places us in space and time. It’s fundamental to dialogue and communication. Which is again the most important component in any relationship, professional or not. It makes it possible for us to see the world from someone else’s perspective.
Quality listening allows us to understand what people really care about and it has the power to transform lives. It can restore relationship and the sense that every life matters.
“So when you are listening to somebody, completely, attentively,
then you are listening not only to the words, but also to the feeling
of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it.”
– Jiddu Krishnamurti
In the old times listening had survival value. Without listening it was not possible to receive passed on knowledge and wisdom.
How you can become a better listener?
We can improve the way we listen by practising so called “active listening”.
Active listening is making a conscious effort to not only hear the words but also understand the message behind them. It requires focus, attention and intention, to grasp the feelings and views of the other person. It builds trust and helps people to open up.
“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know.
But if you listen, you may learn something new.”
– Dalai Lama
5 steps to grow as an active listener:
- Give your full presence. Be here and now. Focus and concentrate, prepare yourself mentally to give the speaker 100% attention. Make conscious effort to understand the meaning behind the words. Look for the feelings. Refrain from expectations as that will change your capacity to listen open minded.
- Pay attention not only to the words but also to the body language. Also use your own body language to show your true involvement and engagement. Face the speaker and lean forward, maintain eye contact. Adapt an open and inviting posture, uncross your arms. Node your head, smile when it is appropriate. Encourage with verbal comments like: “aha”, “hmm”, “got ya”, “I see”.
- Allow the speaker to finish each point before asking any questions. Don’t interrupt, form opinion or impose your solutions. Don’t judge, think positively. Don’t mentally prepare to respond. Or try to finish the speaker’s sentences. Really focus on what the person has to say. Listen with empathy, identify with the speaker so that you can truly understand the other person’s views and feelings. See the speaker’s full intention even if you don’t agree.
- Reflect on what was just shared with you and deliver honest feedback with respect to the speaker. Elaborate and then summarise what the speaker said and how you understood it. To repeat the main points use phrases like: “this is what I heard…”, I think this is what you mean…”. Look out also for non-verbal cues, the face expression, eyes and tone of the voice. Remember that words carry only a fraction of the message.
- Now ask questions like: “so you’re saying…?” to ensure full understanding and allow further clarification if necessary. Assume that the other person just needed to talk unless you are specifically asked for an advice. Remain ready to serve.
“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand
and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.”
– Ralph Nichols
Listen fully to live fully and be connected with one another. Know that every single person wishes to be heard and understood. By learning the skill of listening and making the effort to be there for someone who needs it, you will win trust and loyalty of others.
Thank you for reading my blog post. I very much hope that you enjoyed it and that you found it useful. I invite you also to share it with others so that as many people as possible can become a better listeners. And with mutual understanding together we can make a difference in the world.
With best wishes,
To Your success and happiness,
Beata was born and grew up in Poland. At the age of 21 she moved to Germany and then eight years later to the UK. She is a passionate entrepreneur driven by burning desire to raise awareness about what we are truly capable of as humans and together with like-minded people, create a better sustainable world for the future generations. She is a mother to two beautiful girls, identical twins Atiya and Caira and wife to Sebastian. She is a Holistic Therapist and Kundalini Yoga practitioner. She is intensively learning and implementing healthy nutrition and natural healing in her family life with great success. She loves travelling and exploring new cultures and meeting new people, fascinated by the diversity and beauty in the world. She is extremely dedicated to inspire others to make their dream come true too.