Have you ever noticed that the trend of people screaming at each other just to get their attention is increasing? People now ignore the subtle and gentle speakers and listen to only those who are loud and shocking, which indicates the fact that people have started to lose their listening skills and because of diminishing listening to the grabbing attention of others requires extreme measures, the ethical values of which are always questionable.
Our decreasing ability of listening is causing us to be impatient, thus this impatience of ours increases our ignorance and allows very few to pass through our acceptance filters. As a result of all this decreased listening, the connection between humans is decreasing and we are moving farther from each other. If you don’t listen to someone, by the end no one will be able to listen to you regardless of whether you are exploding with news of joy or want to throw up your sorrow. Therefore, it is important that we increase listening skills so that we are able to grasp knowledge, notice things around us and above all create a connection with people, which is imperative to internal joy and peace.
I’m going to share 5 simple ways in which you can increase your ability to listen better.
In order to listen better, you have to practice being silent. How can you listen attentively to what the other person is saying if you are always speaking yourself? Moreover, besides being silent, you must also allocate a few minutes of the day to silence, a time when you hear no noise and no sound and there is complete silence. If you can’t find a place that offers complete silence then opt for as quite a place as possible. Thus, when you are silent and there is silence around you, your ears become sensitive to even the faintest of sounds; this is when you’ll feel that your listening power is returning back to you.
The second and more interesting exercise that you can do to improve your listening power is practicing differentiation. We spend most of our day at busy places, the hotels, the laundry, the bar and so on where we hear numerous sounds simultaneously. Therefore, to make your listening better, try differentiating all the sounds that you hear at such places. By doing so you will improve and sharpen your listening skill as you will have developed the ability to differentiate between different sounds.
Enjoy Ordinary Sounds:
One of the biggest problems with us is that we don’t enjoy the sounds around us. All the iPods and headphones have made us oblivious of the great sounds that exist around us and when we are around such sounds, we consider them as noise. Have you ever tried to listen to the rhythm, which the photocopier machine at your office photocopies, or the sound made by the kettle when water starts boiling in it or the sound the vacuum cleaner makes, all have quality in it? Thus, in order to polish your listening skills and to harmonize this listening with imagination, you need to enjoy the mundane sounds that you ignore in everyday life.
The other important thing pertaining to improving your listening skills is to change the position in which you listen. The change of position does not imply a physical change of position; rather it implies the filters with which you listen. For instance, if you are a passive listener, then try becoming an active listener. If you listen critically, then change your position and try to listen empathetically. Thus, this way you will be able to listen better and understand a whole different scenario.
When it comes to listening to other people, the only way you can be a good listener is when you show concern while listening to others. This can be done if you listen to the other by nodding your head that shows you are interested in listening, making the listening noises that show that you are participating in the process, using the word ‘so’ to keep the listening cycle going and above all asking questions at the end. If you are able to practice concerned listening, then you are sure to improve your listening temperament and will make the most out of a conversation.
Now it’s Your Turn!
What is the importance of listening to you? Do you think of yourself as a good listener? Which listening practices and habits do you ploy? How can one become a good listener? Do share your thoughts.