A GOOD LISTENER IS A RARE JEWEL
Are You Really Listening?
A sure way to make friends, be popular, network, succeed and excel in life, is to be a good listener. The old saying goes something like this, “God gave us two ears and one mouth, so that we may hear more and speak less!” Everything you know you got by listening. Everyone loves to talk, especially about themselves. We all fall into that trap. The problem is if you do all the talking you never learn about the other person, you never get any information, you never learn! If you don’t do any listening, people will become bored with you very quickly. People like to talk and if they aren’t given the chance they won’t enjoy talking with you and in turn an opportunity for friendship will fade.
Listening is a process of understanding when hearing. In general listening is entirely different from hearing. Listening is the thinking process. Hearing is a simple physical process that does not require deep thought. It’s the thinking process that’s listening. Some people at times have called the thinking part of listening as “listening with your heart.” Try to put your ego, judgements and comparisons all on hold. Listen and connect with the other persons heart. Their feelings and interests. Search for meaning to understanding what you have heard. This creates meaningful understanding. Listen with your ears, mind and heart.
How To Listen
- A good listener is rare. It is in your best interest to be such a rare jewel. There are many ways to show people you are listening. Here are a few techniques to help you listen better, but more importantly, show the other person you are listening to them:
- Use body language. Lean your body forward toward the speaker and look at them.
- Use your eyes. Make eye contact and maintain it.
- Nod your head when appropriate to let the other person know you hear their point of view.
- Avoid distractions by your surroundings. When you are with someone treat them as the most important person in the world.
- Don’t make up your mind or turn off before the other person has completely finished their thoughts. Even then allow a pause to think about what has been said before you respond.
- Use gestures when speaking to make points.
- Pause. A pause allows you to be in control. Silence makes most people uneasy. This puts you in a position of control. Pauses should last anywhere from ten to forty-five seconds.
- Never fold arms. It closes you out of communicating and turns the other person off.
- Watch fidgeting. Keep your hands at your side when standing. Use your head to nod to let people know you are listening.
Practice these tips and not only will you be popular but your friendship cherished as a rare jewel of great value.