In this modern world we tend to speak a lot, we all believe that speaking is a leadership quality, while we forget the importance of listening. Let us be very cautious when we talk about listening.
Myths about listening.
Not talking is listening.
Many people thinks that while i am not talking , i am listening. its not true. When we are not talking it doesn’t mean we are listening. we should be prepared for listening, we should set the stage for listening.
When i am hearing i am listening.
This is not true even. When i am hearing it doesn’t mean that I am listening, there is a huge difference between hearing and listening. Let’s get it right. When you are listening you should hear what others say and even you should hear what others are not saying or partially saying. This could be thru body language, verbal or non-verbal messages.
Essential principles of listening.
Prepare yourself for Listening
Huge preparation is required for listening, we should focus on the listener, align your mindset with the speaker. Be comfortable and make others comfortable and set time aside for listening.
Make your speaker relaxed
If you really want to listen , we should make our speaker relaxed, have gestures which welcomes the speaker to speak more. Make them understand that you are listening and understanding what is being said.
Remove distractions such as mobile phones, laptops, music players from you. If you take a call, check your messages while someone is talking, it could be a real disgusting experience for the speaker. It may put them off.
Obviously when you want to listen, you have to stop speaking. It is something we always forget. Master the art of listening. Understand what others are talking. Match with their moods and wave length. Try to understand the intention.
We should be patient enough to listen, there might be small pause, even a bigger pause, this doesn’t mean that speaker had done yet, Never interrupt. While you are patient, show that in your gestures, even if you are patient but gestures shows that you are irritated or in a hurry, then the whole purpose of listening might be a waste of time. Wrong gestures might put the speaker in defensive mode.
Listen to tone, mood, ideas, gestures
Don’t just listen to the words, listen to the tone , mood and ideas he is talking about. Try to understand why he is talking and why he is talking. Not all the words would give you the complete picture, but his gestures, actions, pauses and breath gives lot more messages than what he talks. Just listening to the words is not enough to be a good listener.