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Opinion | Are You Listening?

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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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Opinion | Are You Listening?

Opinion | Are You Listening?

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

nytimes.com

4

Key Ideas

Zeno of Citium

Zeno of Citium

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

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.

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.

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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Be the last to speak

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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.

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Challenges To Listening

  • We have many things screaming for our attention every minute of the day and we often trick ourselves into believing they’re more important than a conversation unfolding right in front o...

The Importance Of Proper Listening

With proper listening you’ll have a crystal clear understanding of the conversation and demonstrate to speakers that you’re invested in what they have to say.

Being a good listener is one of the most potent things you can do to increase your influence and likeability. It is also one of the top skills employers seek in potential and current employees, and it’s correlated with perceived ability to lead.

How To Be A Better Listener

  1. Push other activities from your mind, and be present in the discussion. This tells the other person that you’re ready for the conversation.
  2. Keep a neutral expression that simply says, “I’m listening.” We tend to physically react to what we hear and it disrupts our ability to listen and the other person’s ability to be heard. 
  3. Offer uninterrupted speaking time. Well-intended or not, interruptions makes effective communication impossible. 
  4. Repeat back succinctly and ask validating questions to make sure you heard the speaker correctly.

Life’s ups and downs

They aren’t optional but your ability to be happy throughout is. 

Positive people know that life is not only about positive stuff. They are just mentally prepared to embrace chall...

Wait before reacting

You’re not in a normal frame of mind when you’re angry. Your anger won’t make you want to resolve a problem; it’ll just make you want to lash out at somebody. 

When you've calmed down, ask yourself if the issue is something that really needs to be addressed or if you just overreacted. If after 24 hours, the thing that bothered is still on your mind, speak or act constructively to remedy the situation.

Take responsibility

Don't walk around feeling sad, angry, and mistreated because you think that fate should treat you differently. It's a damaging way to think.

You and you alone are responsible for your happiness. If the world hurls misfortune at you one day, find a way to divert it or turn it into something positive.