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Opinion | Are You Listening?

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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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.

We're bad at listening

We come into conversations with our own agendas and low attention spans, and that can be a dangerous combination.

When you’re doing the talking, though, it’s frustrating if you’re not being h...

Being present in conversations

  • Get your face out of your phone and focus your attention.
  • Be willing to receive information.
  • Be willing to engage in the conversation and to listen with the intent to understand.
  • Be willing to stay the course and not let your mind wander.
  • Bring the conversation to a close with takeaways and next steps.
  • Respect the existence of emotions and their roles and be aware of the body language also.
  • Keep your ego out of the conversation.

What happens when you listen

  • Listening is the basis for growth and advancement. You can’t advance your skills and knowledge without understanding others.
  • Listening is also important because we all want love and respect; we want to spend time with people who listen.