Art of Listening
Listening well is a magical tool for creating and maintaining wonderful relationships with yourself and others. Have you ever felt like you do most of the talking with people? Have you ever felt that people shy away from talking to you? You wonder why?? Even if you have the desire to help others. Think this has ever happened? That you haven’t been able to remember the conversation you had with someone? Maybe you talk more and listen less. The solution is simple – learn to listen well. Being a good listener makes you more accessible, friendly, likable, knowledgeable, polite, admired, and respected. Here are some steps that can enhance your listening skills.
Create a comfortable setting and opportunity to have a good conversation. To have a meaningful conversation with two or more people, it’s important to choose a place where everyone is comfortable. The other person should be comfortable with you. Have an open mind, which shows through your body language. Never judge anyone. We have no right to show favoritism or partiality towards anyone. We can never fully understand someone’s situations and circumstances, so it is always better to be empathetic and understanding. Be sensitive to the other person’s thoughts, opinions, and ideas. Allow them to talk and express their opinion freely. It is said that small-minded people only discuss other people, mediocre minds discuss events and great minds discuss ideas. Avoid backbiting and backbiting. Focus on positive things instead of negative topics and events. Speak less and listen more. We knowingly or unknowingly mistake talking for ‘conversation’. There is a difference between talking and communicating.
We should avoid imposing our thoughts and ideas on others. Differences should always be welcomed. It educates us, enriches us, and makes us more aware and informed. Those who know less talk and argue more. Humility is a virtue. A tree laden with fruits bows down, and a tree without fruits stands erect. Be calm, kind, open, polite, sensitive, and understanding of the feelings and emotions of others. Don’t let your mind wander and avoid distractions. Learn to live in the present moment. Instead of spending your energy focusing on what to answer and what to say next, just learn to listen. Sometimes, people just want to share or reveal something and we immediately start thinking of solutions for them. It’s not always about you. Don’t let only negative thoughts grow in your mind. Sometimes we have to learn to be different. By your thoughts, by your ego, and also by your laziness.
Silence is a form of medicine for the human body. It is also a means of purification of the mind. The meaning of silence is not limited to speaking only with the tongue, but it also has to calm the storms of thoughts arising in the mind. Self-study gets this silent process done. Learn to use silence well at certain times in your life. Silence is very powerful, especially in conversation. Silence is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength and confidence. Use silence to make your point, not to blame or prove the other person wrong, and to communicate well. It’s perfectly fine to remain silent and listen fully to the other person, even if they have mistakes in facts, speech, vocabulary, or anything else. Proving others wrong and finding fault makes you less likable and judgmental. No good can come of embarrassing others. We often try to fill the silence with talk and chatter, but that is not meaningful talk. A pause is perfectly fine and can pave the way for the next topic of discussion. Silence is useful for digesting new information, processing it, and asking questions. It shouldn’t be weird. This gives the other person time to do the same. We lose many good things in life like peace, time, happiness, and what we want because of one simple thing we are not ready with the answer. Just by empowering ourselves enough and using the power of saying no and not listening, we can gain immense respect, love, attention, confidence, and an attractive personality. Learn to listen to the inner voice that guides you and your inner spirit. Trust God. Everything in life is temporary and just a phase. Ask good questions Asking questions lets people know that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say. You get the opportunity to better clarify and understand the context.
If you don’t understand some piece of information, feel free to ask to elaborate or to repeat what you understood. It makes the other person feel valued, important and respected. Active listening is very important to have good conversations, developing close relationships, having good interpersonal relationships, and building relationships with people. Be careful not to hurt other people and ask questions that may energize them. Share your personal experiences with care. You get to choose what to share with others. Although sharing personal stories and experiences allow you to establish a connection and bond with others who may have gone through the same problem, sometimes this can be given to others or used against you. Then, it is too late to repent. Sometimes, offering examples to solve other people’s problems can be counterproductive because people are different, their circumstances are different, and their environment is different. Instead of rushing to fix the problem, learn to listen with an open mind and heart. Also, avoid pointing fingers at each other while having a conversation.
Don’t force what is right. Emphasize facts, and figures and say the right thing. This is not always important. Logic never wins over emotions. Trying to fit everything into a conversation and make it perfect makes you a bad listener. Learn to be patient, listen more, process more, think more, and participate in conversations diligently. Appreciate and value people. love them unconditionally. Empathize with them and care for them.
Listening is an important tool not only for good communication but also for developing and maintaining long-term personal and professional relationships. Master the art of listening and you will be surprised how much you learn, how much respect and love you gain, and how much more peaceful and happy your life becomes. Personality development courses only teach us to focus on external things, inner development makes us beyond all these things. Listening more is also an art, which promotes the qualities of patience, and humility. If you make a habit of listening well, then the power of remembering increases.