“Sorry honey, I’m late because…..”
“Because you were busy hanging out with your friends.”
Maya jumped to conclusion, not taking heed of the bouquet in Sagar’s hands. He had actually hand picked her favourite flowers. But now the essence was lost.
“Mom this time I got less marks in Math as the paper……”
“Because the paper was difficult, as you didn’t bother to study enough.”
Rita was too busy packing her bag and in a hurry to leave. She didn’t allow Mohan to finish. He was about to say that it was the wrong set which was given to him.
“Today a strange thing happened with me. A man tried to flick my wallet, when…..”
Before Siraj could complete his incident, Virat spoke up,
“Something similar happened with me last week.”
Hello friends! Do you find any similarity in these micro tales? Something is starkly common in all of them. Yes, the speaker was not allowed to finish what he wanted to say, for various different reasons. Either the listener jumped to conclusions, or didn’t have the patience or was simply interested in his own talking.
They say that if you love someone, give them your ears. A simple act of listening, we don’t realise how vital it is. And when we don’t practice it, the side effects can be disastrous: fading out of important relationships.
There’s a huge difference between hearing and listening. Exactly like there is no similarity between sound and noise. When you are hearing, only noise reaches your ears and your mind is somewhere else. But when you listen, your heart and eyes are with the speaker.
I strongly believe that listening is a two way dialogue, where the listener is as much involved as the speaker. Only when you are attentive to what the other person is saying, will you be responsive. If you are a good listener, you will maintain eye contact, ask questions in between for a better understanding, give appropriate gestures, feel for the speaker and stay clear of distractions.
It’s quite a laughable fact if you think hard. When a person is talking, why is the listener in a rush to speak his mind out? You are not the topic of discussion. Right now your job is to listen. Wait for your turn, let the other person finish. You think he will have the patience to listen to you, if his thoughts are left incomplete?
Sadly, but rightly pointed out by Stephen Covey:
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand. They listen with the intent to reply.”
Do you realise, many a times a speaker is not looking for sarcastic taunts, advice or suggestions, he or she is only seeking a good ear, who would hear them, where they can pour their hearts out and feel lighter. Just your calm presence can give someone the trust and confidence to open up to you. It’s a big thing, when someone comes to you with the faith that, “Yes, I can trust her. She will listen to me.”
Our body language also speaks volumes of how good or bad a listener we are. If you start taking deep breaths, keep looking at the watch, are fidgety every now and then, roll your eyes often, yawn or keep rubbing the back of your neck….
You guessed it right. It definitely doesn’t need rocket science to understand that these are signs of a bad listener. On the contrary, it would be better to tell the person upfront that you’ll listen to him at a later time.
I don’t need to give you a sermon on how to listen, we all know. It’s obvious that we don’t practice it often. In the end, I would just like to say one thing. To be a good listener, you need to be empathetic. When you can step in the shoes of the other and feel how the other person is feeling, you most certainly will become a good listener.