“Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens” – from the Tao of effective listening.
Listening is an art, and unlike other arts it cannot be taught in a school or college, and yet it is as important as the spoken and written skills.
A child grasps her mother’s face in her tiny hands and says, “Mummy, listen to me!” A wife to her nonchalant husband says, “When will you listen to me?!” A friend says to another friend, “Can you first listen to me?”
Listen, the abovementioned examples show how important is “listening” in our daily lives. According to some study, the words we use contain only 10% message and the remaining 90% is hidden in the
body language and the tone of our voice. A good listener who listens with his heart can understand the speaker’s body language, which is 90%, and find out what the speaker really means. In order to do
this, we must use all our senses to focus on the person who speaks. This can’t be achieved overnight but with practice we can get there.
HOW TO IMPROVE LISTENING SKILLS:
Listening can be effectively sharpened and improved. A good listener tries to remove any communication barriers or hindrances. There are things that may interfere with the messages between the speaker and the listener. Some hindrances are created by the speakers and others are caused by the listener. A good listener learns to deal with both kinds. Some common communication barriers are listed below. Suggestions for overcoming the barriers are also given.
HINDRANCES TO EFFECTIVE LISTENING :
Distractions: Good listeners pay attention. They save daydreaming for quiet moments alone. They tune out distractions and concentrate on what the speaker is saying.
Information Overload: Good listeners sort information. They remember main ideas and devote less effort to remembering details.
Lay listening: Good listeners work hard to get the most out of what they hear. They pay attention even when what they hear does not seem especially important.
Hasty Conclusions: Good listeners are careful not to jump to conclusions or to get carried away with words or ideas. They make thoughtful judgments at the end of a presentation.
Narrow Thinking: Good listeners are open to new ideas.
“To speak is silver and to listen is gold,” says a Turkish proverb. So next time you interact with someone or when someone wants to speak to you, listen with all your heart. By practicing the art of listening we can become effective speakers.
A JOKE ON LISTENING:
Patient: Doctor, I have a problem. I seem to forget whatever I say and, this condition is very embarrassing and discouraging me.
Doctor: How long are you having this problem?
Patient: What problem?