“What qualities do we need in order to really listen?”
What is it that makes a good listener? Is it the case, that it’s only those who actually want to be heard, that are? Is it not so much about people listening, but more about our ability, to command the ear?
We’ve all had times when we’ve been talking and known we’re not being heard. I can tell you from experience, being heard, for what we’re really saying, is an absolute rarity. It’s those who’re able to hear the underlying, unconscious messages in our language, who’re the true listeners.
“Perhaps what needs to happen, is the words being spoken, must be considered by the listener to have value”
If we don’t rate the person speaking, as having anything of value to add to our lives, will we ever listen? Do we value ourselves enough to listen? Sometimes, when our self-esteem is low, we feel threatened by those who have something valuable to say. On these occasions we simply block out what’s being said.
It is of course important we have good rapport with those we want to get a message to. Talking about those things that are of a common interest, to both talker and listener, is one of those key ingredients for good conversation. In fact, not saying much at all, and simply allowing others to talk about what interests them, can be sufficient.
Pacing and leading is the method we must use to get our own message across. We listen intently and match the speed, cadence and tonality (even accent) of the other voices. We then look to gently lead the conversation onto topics that relate to our message and our interests.
One very useful consideration at this point, is to be aware of how the filtering systems of our beliefs, effect the listener and what they actually hear. Perhaps you can relate to how sometimes you’ve said something and the listener has completely misconstrued what you’ve said. This is the filtering mechanism of the mind and its beliefs at work.
“If we have poor understanding of what’s being said, we may compensate for this, by responding through the filters of what we do understand or believe”
This goes some way to explaining why, a lot of the time, it’s pretty much a waste of time looking to change someones mind about an issue they resolutely believe in. Unless we begin, by explaining the value in questioning what they believe, we’ll have little chance of changing it.
Finally, listening is also about attention. Gaining a persons attention, so as we may pull them of the track of their own thoughts, if only for a moment, is key. Many people spend a great deal of time lost in their own thoughts. So lost in this way are some, that speaking their name, or even gently touching their arm, will be necessary to gain their attention. Gentleness is also often overlooked.
“It’s worth bearing in mind, if you want to be heard, you must be prepared to listen. If you’re not really listening, how can you expect others, to give you their attention?”
We’re all shouting at each other really, and often it’s those who speak in mild, gentle tones, who speak the loudest. The key, is gaining the listeners attention, in the first place. What needs to happen for someone to gain your full attention? What is your passion? What is really being said here? What are people really seeking when talking to you? Do you value yourself enough to give them your time and full attention?
Are you able to see and feel what someone is saying? Now you’ve cracked it. Rare is it not? Be cautious though, it’s very tiring.