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Opinion | Are You Listening?

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/17/opinion/art-of-listening.html

nytimes.com

Opinion | Are You Listening?
If you're hearing others through the filter of your own concerns, you're not really hearing them. By Mr. Marino is a philosophy professor and author. Ernest Hemingway put it bluntly: "Most people never listen." Given that meaningful relationships are crucial to human thriving, it is unfortunate that the ability to listen should be so underestimated, and so rare.

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Zeno of Citium

“We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.”

Zeno of Citium

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Good listening

Good listening doesn't follow a technique as much as being willing to enter into another person's life.

Listening through the screen of your own desires means that you are listening to your own voice and desires. It is the same as not listening at all. Listening demands wiping the slate of your mind clean.

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Not knowing what to say

Not knowing what to say when someone confides in you is a daunting feeling. However, we feel that way because we mistakenly think the person reaching out is asking for an explanation.

It is more important just to be there, so the other person doesn't feel alone.

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Inability to listen to yourself

People who have not been listened to often find it hard to listen to themselves. They struggle to make sense of their inner world.

When people are forced to muffle their feelings and thoughts, they are in danger of burying those inner perturbations so deeply that they can't dig them up again.

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Active listening

Is a technique for developing our ability to listen, to make a conscious effort to understand what people are really saying.

As a communication technique, it is used in many prof...

Core components of Active Listening

  • Comprehending: To communicate, we must first understand what the other person (or people) are actually saying.
  • Retaining: To respond in an appropriate manner, we must understand and retain what the other person has said.
  • Responding: An active response should show that we understand what the other person has said, have paid attention to their words and also read their non-verbal cues.

Improving Active Listening skills

  • Educate yourself on common cognitive biases and shortcuts;
  • Avoid trying to respond immediately. Allow the other person time to finish speaking, then provide a considered response;
  • Minimize conversational narcissism by keeping track of your use of pronouns(I, me);
  • Seek to develop a clear picture of the other person’s logic;

A Case For Audiobooks

Old school printed books and e-books sales remain flat in the last five years, while Audiobook sales have shown an increase.

Such figures show that people are shifting towards audio formats o...

Decoding the Written Word

Audiobooks allow the listeners to get the meaning without the use of their eyes, which books require.

Reading as a skill is 'skipped' while listening to audiobooks, though it is ideal for people with dyslexia, those who cannot 'decode' the written word.

Reading Vs Listening

The reading act, which requires focus, and which makes us stop, think and re-read is somehow only confined to books, as a study proves that retention is higher with books than with podcasts.

The audio format also misses some key visual aspects of fonts paragraphs and headings, that are available in books.

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Be the last to speak

This way, you'll be able to hear your team’s true thoughts, which you can to use to inform the opinion you yourself deliver at the end of the conversation.

As a leader, if you speak f...

Shut down outside distractions

A key part of being a good listener is showing the speaker that he or she has your undivided attention. Close your laptop and put away your phone.

This gives those speakers the confidence to express themselves fully without feeling that they’re imposing on your time.

Mind your body language

7 percent of a message is conveyed through words. Body language plays a major role in how we communicate and how we listen.

When you’re listening, then, be aware of what your body language is saying to the speaker. Unfold your arms and be open to what this person has to say.