Learn to Listen: Listen to Learn


This article explains importance of mastering our listening skills. We have to learn to listen and this is important if we want to learn something new. Active listening will help us to interpret the whole message conveyed to us by the speaker.

Introduction

Everyday we can learn something new and every second we can explore something that is unexplored. To accomplish this, we need to become aware. We need to listen to learn something new. Nothing we say will teach us anything new. The more we listen, the more information we will reach out to. Listening helps us to live in present. All those who suffers from dilemma of how to live in present, without thinking about past or about coming future should practice their concentration more on listening. This is because to listen to others we have to be present in our present. Listening does not only refer to listening to others experiences and view points but also refers to listening to our own experiences. Our internal self itself will guide us through our emotions and intuitions. Thus, if we have to learn then we need to learn to listen.

Listening

Listening is not a very complicated thing. It is just a simple act and all we need to do is sit and listen by remaining in present i.e., not allow mind to wander in past or future. Keeping an open mind is also very essential when we listen. We will never listen completely if we just keep hearing the words. Understanding more deeply is what leads to learning as well as is the need of hour. Listening increases concentration and concentration thereby helps in better listening. Most of the times when we are listening to others, we want to interfere them with some replies we have. This will lead to a conversation or argument of some sort. Remarks will then seem to get locked and loaded. We need to understand that conversations are tiring and are no food for brain.

Learn to Remain Quiet

We need to really pay attention to what others are saying. Mind should be completely focused. When concentration is put in 100% in listening then it becomes active listening. Our ears should be hungry for the words coming out of others mouths. Active listening will help us to bring our listening capacity into action. First thing we need to learn is to remain quiet. It is difficult to make friendship with silence as most of us will find silence as dullness which we feel that it is degrading our personality. Also, it is natural for us to respond as overcoming that urge is difficult. However, if we are able to overcome that urge of indulging in quick response then a new change will start developing and the learning process will begin.

Benefits of Listening

If we learn to listen then we will not feel dull and stupid, instead we will feel smart and more concentrated. When we think of a response as well as listening to others, we are creating so much of turbulence in ourselves. It is more like a juggling. Listening will help us to do one thing at a time. We will listen when we have to listen and respond when we have to. A perfect balance is created between listening and responding. We get to learn as well as have a meaningful conversation with others instead of just wasting our time in other type of conversation. We will start having more and more best conversations we ever had in our lives as we will be able to understand other person and learn from his experiences and not just listen to our mental reaction. Thus, practice of active listening or deep listening will help us greatly to focus on learning process.

Listen to Learn

Listening is an important skill and the more we listen, more learning will take place. It does impacts us in all walks of our lives. With more and more listening, we will be able to gather more and more information. The more information we gather, more learning takes place. We will be able to understand others and learn about their personalities and thus acceptance becomes more natural. This will improve quality of relationships we have with others. Day by day our personality improves remarkably. Our productivity is greatly improved by listening skills. We well start avoiding conflicts as better understanding will help us greatly to clear all our misunderstandings.

Active Listening

It is been researched that we only remember 25-50% of what we are listening and this is because we do not pay attention completely. What if this percentage did not cover the most important message conveyed to us. Then greatly we are the ones who will be in loss as information was provided to us but we did not listen it. Thus, active listening is very essential. Active listening is where we just do not hear the words coming out of other person's mouth but understand the words completely. For this complete attention is essential. Focus should be complete and distraction should be none. Initially distraction will deviate us but constant efforts put in will make distraction minimal and then one day we will be able to give our 100% attention. Responding is not very important here by making counter arguments. This is again considered to be another type of distraction. Losing focus, interfering in between, getting bored will all lead to lack of listening and less we listen, less we learn. Repeating speakers words mentally will also help us pay full attention.

Acknowledgement

Seeking silence or remaining quiet while listening does not mean that we should not acknowledge and acknowledgement does not mean interfering in between conversations with counter arguments. Nodding of the head is also an acknowledgement. This will indicate the speaker that we are listening to him as well as will help us remain focused. Acknowledging does not mean that we agree with speaker. All that it means is that we are listening and understanding his talk. Response from our side should be such that it should encourage him to talk more so that he will be able to share more information and his experiences which in turn will benefit us in many ways.

Tips to Become a Better Active Listener

First thing is to devote time and complete focus to the speaker. Attention should be 100% and undivided. Next important tip is to acknowledge the speaker, preferably in a non-verbal way. Actions speak louder than the words and thus a simple nod of the head, smile, facial expressions, maintaining body posture, making verbal comments like yes and huh all help speaker to share more information. Keeping us away from distraction is again very important. Removing all the filters we have is very essential as these personal filters of ours make us judgmental and we block the speaker out cause we do not hear him. Thus, we need to keep our assumptions and beliefs aside and listen to what other person is sharing with us. Providing feedback is also very important to reflect back and this can be done by asking questions and summarizing all the information periodically. We may not agree with speaker completely or sometimes not at all but interfering is waste of his as well as our time and thus we should let speaker finish what he started and then can ask him questions for further clarification. Attacking him or putting him down will not help us in anyways. Instead we have to understand and respect him as he is devoting his time and helping us gain perspective as well as information. Responding should be positive, honest and also it is essential that we respectfully assert our views to him.

Learn to Listen

Listening is an act or skill which helps to receive as well as interpret the message accurately. If the message is lost even to a small extent then it means that we have not done our listening job accurately. Listening is a key to all good communications. Misunderstanding is due to miscommunication which is again due to inability to listen effectively. Listening is the best communication skill to have a mastery on as it is building blocks of success. Listening and hearing are two different things. Hearing does not require efforts or concentration whereas listening does. We hear everything that is put in our ears. Listening demands us to remain engaged with speaker whereas hearing does not. Thus, listening becomes an active process and hearing a passive one. When we listen to others, we are connecting with them and in this way we give each other our attention.

Conclusion

A lot of concentration and interest is essential along with firm determination to become a good listener. Old habits are difficult to get rid of but if we try to break them with our persistent efforts then we can definitely avoid distractions that are acting as hindrances in mastering of listening skills. Listening is an art which demands receiving and then interpreting the whole information accurately from the speaker. All the questions and thoughts along with our beliefs should be set aside and all we need to concentrate is on the message that is been delivered to us. Active listening helps us to become a better listener and better communicator. We will develop better relationships with others as we will start communicating with them due to our newly acquired better listening skills as well as we will avoid misunderstandings. Our listening skills become enriched with knowledge and experience and greatly improve our productivity in almost all walks of our lives.


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