“The world is giving you every day, learn to listen“
Listening is a skill that everyone should acquire. Because listening is, the most powerful and precious gift one can to another person. Listening with attention, fully present is one the best gift we can give to a person who really want to share something with us. When we listen to someone quietly new ideas, creativity emerges.
The listening process involves five stages: receiving, understanding, evaluating, remembering, and responding. Effectively engaging with all five stages of the listening process lets us best gather the information we need from the world around us. Listening is an art that calls for practice. Listening is the absorption of the meanings of words and sentences by the brain. Listening leads to the understanding of facts and ideas.
According to Brenda Ueland author of ‘On the Fine Art of Listening’- “Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force”. When we listen to someone with full heart, it gives pleasure and comfort of sharing the thoughts and it feels we are there for someone when they needed a ear to express their thoughts. Listening well takes skill, time and a readiness to slow down to afford time for reflection and to let go expectations, judgments, boredom, self-assertiveness and defensiveness.
“To be attentive means to listen without any interpretation, without any judgment — just to listen. When you are so listening there is no boundary”
“…through listening, all separation between the observer and the observed comes to an end.”
- J. Krishnamurti, The Awakening of Intelligence
Most of us does not listen well. It is a common behavior. When we do manage to listen, we are often just waiting until the other person finishes so that we can say what is on our mind. And, it is not really listening. When two people listen to each other we sense that we are present for each other beyond our individual selves and it is spiritual, holy connection. We can experience this act when we really listen to someone and when we keep interrupting their talk instead of listening. When we listen, a Brenda Ueland says, we allow the creative fountain to start up, ‘the spirit, the intelligence, the imagination.’ By not listening we drain the other person’s internal energy and make our self dry.
When someone, friend or your spouse says “you never listen to me” – it means even though you hear the words what he or she is saying to you, you are not possibly paying attention.
An effective listening practice has several features:
- Paying attention to the environment: Stop other activities and listen to the person.
- Be present: Listen with an open, appreciative and curious mind.
- Stop talking: One person speaks at a time without any interruption – which means you respect other person view even if your views are different.
- Clarification: Ask for any clarification to understand what other person is really trying to express.
- Pause before speaking: Allow the speaker to complete their thought and then wait for few seconds before telling “is there anything you want to convey”
- Listen to yourself: Talk to your own inner self “is there anything else need to be clarified or should I ask”
- Signal that they have been heard: Encouraging body language included empathetic facial expression, nodding and feel good postures.
- Listen for understanding: When someone is expressing his or her feeling, listen carefully. Don’t try to judge them – let empathy and compassion take the lead.
What benefit we get by listening?
Listening is not judging, listening is a humble quality. Remember when you are listening you are learning. When you are not listening you are losing an opportunity. A lot! Yes, when we listen to someone with whole heart, we break the silence. We develop good relationship. We also, form a bond which last longer. By listening really to someone we solve problems, we become strong by their experience. Solutions can be found that were never imagined. Old angers and resentments can be overcome !
A true listening is a blessing in everyone’s life. A true listener is much more magnetic than a talker, more believed and is more effective and learns more. So, listen to your friend, partner, parents, siblings, your elders, child and to those who wants to be with you even to your enemies (if you have one). Listening works in great way and it can be a miracle in your life.
The fact that you do not listen reveals the reality that your mind is closed. Listening to others helps you to grow and if you wish live life to its fullest then learn to listen. Listening is vital to live that full, glorious life.
- Kay Lindahl, from Natural awakening (2016)