HOW TO LISTEN
Listening is learning. Listening is love in action.
How often do you find yourself trying to convince others of what you believe to be right ? How often do you succeed ? If you do succeed, are both sides happy at the end ? What if I told you there is a way to find a win win in every argument, a way to reach a great conclusion while all sides feeling they are part of the solution. That solution is woefully simple but extraordinarily difficult for us to do.
It’s to listen.
To put our whole effort, our being, our mind and lastly our ears intently to others. By doing so you will win the other person’s full attention, understand the real issue they are talking about and find a solution that potentially addresses their concerns but also delivers what you seek. It makes us more empathetic, more calm and better human beings. So how can one listen. Here are some easy steps
- Firstly Understand that talking won’t make your smarter – Only listening will. If you repeat to others that which you already know, you have learnt nothing. Only by listening to others will you have the chance to truly learn something new.
- Allow the other side to start – Let them begin and share their view or make their presentation or allow them to vent their concerns. This can often surprise people who expect that you will not listen or address their issues.
- Ask A question After you Share – What is your view ? What do you think ? Let people know that you truly care about their view and their experience.
- Ask specifically for concerns and issues – In many cultures, especially in Asia, you may not get all the answers you seek easily. People may be shy to say what they don’t agree with at first. Hence create an atmosphere of comfort by allowing people to share their views. If in a big group, get people to write on post its and stick on a wall.
- When proposing solutions instead of saying “we should…..” say “ should we….?”. Turn proposals into a conversation that engages and allows people to participate
- Turn your phone off. Put your laptop screen down. Truly listen
- To become a truly deep listener practice listening mediation. A simple 30 second exercise. Sit down in a quiet place and close your eyes. Imagine someone who you have not spoken to for some time and you are now sitting with them. Set an intention to learn from them and to know them well. Feel yourself filling with a feeling of warmth and love and then transmitting it to them. Hold this feeling. Now keeping this feeling walk into the conversation.
Listening engages our compassionate, loving and kind side. Everyone can feel it when we are listening to them and when we care about them.
Listening is learning.
Listening is love in action.