To know how to listen

To know how to listen

Talking is a need, to listen is an art (Goethe)

Knowing how to listen is essential to communicate effectively.

Hear and listen

Hearing and listening are two very different attitudes. When the day finally ends, we heard a lot of things, but in the end we only listened very little.

Hearing is an action that does not require our deep attention because our ears simply pick up a succession of sounds that come from our surroundings. However, when we make the effort to listen, all our attention is directed to the sound or message in question, that is, there is a intention.All our senses are then focused on what we receive.

Learn to listen

According to an oriental proverb, "No one puts more emphasis on his clumsiness or bad education than the one who begins to speak before his interlocutor has finished” .

When we are in an exchange of conversation with another person, it sometimes happens that we (or our interlocutor) have trouble listening to each other. We do not pay much attention, but we prepare what we are going to say once the other person has finished speaking.

These verbal incontinencies end up blocking the dialogue, because if we all want to talk at the same time without listening to what others say, the dialogue disappears to leave room for a juxtaposition of monologues.

Knowing how to listen is a difficult attitude because it requires constant self-control, as well asefforts of attention and understandingto capture the message of the other. We must direct our attention to our interlocutor, by entering into his field of interest and his frame of reference.

Dialogue requires a silent attitude to encourage attentive listening. The writer and speaker J. Krishnamurti states that "to listen is an act of silence ". As long as we will not silence our internal dialogue, and we will not pay attention to our interlocutor, we will never learn to listen. Only an attitude of attentive listening allows to fertilize the words that the other pronounces.

It is almost impossible to agree with our interlocutor if we do not open our ears to listen. That is why a person who feels listened to will see that you give him the importance he deserves, and you will be grateful, which will create a climate of respect, esteem and trust.

Listening is an aptitude that requiresopenness, transparency,and the desire to understand. The dialogue comes from a perfect balance between knowing how to listen and how to speak.

Do not wait any longer, learn to listen and practice this skill!

This is a healthy, rewarding and supportive exercise, especially in a society where many people need to be listened to. 

It is only when we are able to listen to each other that we open the door to communication.

Image courtesy of Soohyuk Kim

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