Listening is more than just hearing the words that come out of the mouth of the person you are listening to. True listening means to read between the lines. It is hearing the unspoken and understanding the motivation behind the words.
If there is any one skill that has the power to transform your/the world it would be the skill of listening.
Great listeners are rare to come by though, for it is the nature of our mind to project our own knowledge upon what we hear. We become subjective and therefore miss what is really being said.
Listening is not:
- Interrupting the other
- Impatiently waiting for the other to finish so you can give your opinion
- Looking around the room
- Showing sympathy -i.e. “Oh yea I had that once too” (“Let me tell you about it”)
- Playing on your phone
True listening is:
- Letting the other person finish
- Looking the other in the eyes
- Empathy: Feeling the other persons emotions, without identifying with them
- 100% objective. Take a step back and leave any preconceptions at home
True listening is an empathic act, done with the heart rather than with the ears. You feel naturally comfortable and cared for in the presence of a great listener. It is such an invaluable skill that affects every single area of your life.
Fortunately listening comes natural to all of us when we leave the mind and our ego out of the picture. It is just a matter of remembering how to do it.