Are You Really Listening

Are You Really Listening

Have you ever felt that people rarely listen to the way you want them to listen to you?
Ever came a
cross where people get distracted but pretended to listen, when you are sure their minds are miles away?

To pose it reversely, have you ignored people in the midst of their heart venting talk because you got distracted or because the talk was boring and nonsensical?

How do you feel when you are slighted during an interesting energetic conversation when people interrupt with their imposing views as if yours weren’t worth the ears?

Do you listen well to people? Do people truly listen whenever you speak? Or are you vainly talking much and listening too less?

These are some of the questions I intend to ponder here together. We have a reason for having two ears and one mouth says, philosophers.

And that is because God intended us to listen twice more than we talk. One of my New Year resolutions was to talk less and listen more.

And therefore, here I am writing this piece instead lest I nullify my resolutions. Listening is often considered the golden key that opens the door to human relationships.

The calling of it as the golden key and not silver, iron or bronze, I believe is very significant.

In his TEDx Talk, William Ury listed three reasons as to why one should listen; because listening is the door to understanding the other person.

Because listening helps connect, build rapport, trust, and show that we care. And because listening makes it more likely that the other person will listen back to us.

Many of us take pleasure in talking but listening drains us. I, for one, have this tendency to double talk as to listening.

The challenge with people like us is that we not only want to talk but want to be truly listened to. It becomes a hard task to negotiate a balance between them when you want all talk and no listening on your part.

Listening is vital in every relationship because though not everyone might like talk, it is true that everybody wants to be heard, even the worst of an orator for that matter.

To those who consider themselves as good listeners…

pause a moment and check your level of listening skill here.

William Ury categorizes listening into two levels as ordinary listening and genuine listening. Ordinary listening, as he defines, is when we are hearing the words but often thinking, where d o I

Agree/disagree?

What am I going to say in response? Meaning the focus is still on us (listener).

Genuine listening, on the other hand, is when the spotlight moves to the speaker when we listen from their point of reference and not just ours when we listen to not just what’s being said but to what is not being said.

That is when we listen even to the underlying emotions, feelings, and needs. One way to find a genuine listener is to talk less and be meaningful when required to do so.

Practice more listening, because that way people will likely listen back even if maybe for the sole empathy. It is said, “Talk becomes an argument when one person stops listening.”

There is no point in speaking non-stop if we know nobody is listening anymore. Because if people have closed their minds we will never get the desired response from them.

Expenditure without income leads to bankruptcy, likewise, all talk and no listening will leave us empty-headed.

Learning to have short tongue and long ears take effort for many but it can be cultivated and the benefit is immeasurable.

Listening is not easy as a distraction is everywhere, and we can truly listen only when our own minds are relaxed and free from anxiety.

It is advised that we listen to ourselves first by freeing it from emotional stress and taking a moment of silence to calm ourselves, especially before an important talk or discussion to be able to listen well.

Listening can create a huge difference; it can avoid conflict and mend a broken relationship. It is a must in our daily walk with God to listen to Him closely and carefully, to do and get what He intended us to have.

Let us listen more by reading His words, by being sensitive, by being alert and conscious of His directions in all that we do. Let us cultivate the skill of listening because “One of the biggest gifts we can give anyone is the gift of being heard.”

 

Are You Really Listening is contributed by -Paveine Vemai

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