Why is listening important, beneficial?
Without proper listening there can be miscommunication. Not listening properly has many repercussions and wastes time and energy.
Enemies of listening: rushing and deadlines, being too rule-conscious, and coming too much from the head and not the heart.
Good listening is when you:
– Listen with love and interest, with an attitude of respect and in a whole hearted way, not to just be quick and get it over and done with. People want your undivided attention. People will catch and respond to such a vibration. This leaves an impact on others; it gives them a feeling of being valued. Be an avid listener. It can be the seed for creating self confidence in others. It can uplift them.
– Don’t listen with the thought that it’s not worth listening/not important. Listen to such an extent that others are contented.
To improve your listening skills:
– Listen to yourself: The way I listen to others is how I listen to myself. I need to listen to myself and then act on it. We have the wisdom but sometimes we don’t act on it. We don’t have the self respect and control to do what our thoughts are telling us. If we are respectful of the ideas that we come up with and follow them through, then we would see results and this would increase our enthusiasm.
– Create a sense of contentment, generosity, selflessness and happiness inside. We are reluctant to listen when we are not feeling happy or feeling empty. ‘I’ve got too much of my own stuff to deal with’.
– Finish suppression and anger: Look behind and see what creates anger. All anger is self inflicted and comes as a result of expectations. If we let go of all our expectations we would not have anger. We feel we have a right to certain expectations. We impose our standards on others and it upsets us when they don’t live up to our standard. We just have to accept that everyone is different.
5 skills of listening:
1. Cleanliness: Listen with clarity, with inner cleanliness of the mind and heart, a clean mind is a silent mind. If the slate of your mind isn’t clean, if it has past impressions of that person already written on it, whatever you hear it is as if you are writing on writing, so you can neither read nor hear the message.
How to develop this cleanliness?
It isn’t an overnight job. It takes daily practice. Listen to your thoughts at the end of the day. Give yourself time to reason through the things that you need to let go. Convince yourself to let go of the useless things and use reasoning to try and understand others as well. Which thoughts are going to help my relationship with them? What is the greater thing to do? Let my head and heart be bigger. We are part of a big world. Thinking this way helps me to be clean, to let go and to not be self absorbed.
2. Generosity in giving time to listening to others, this comes from contentment. If you give someone time, with generosity and good intentions when they need that support, that time will come back to you.
3. Being able to understand what’s behind someone’s words, why they are speaking to you, this comes with cleanliness.
4. Integrity: integrity means that I don’t allow what someone shares to influence me. I don’t misuse what I have heard and change my vision of that person.
5. Balance of listening with heart and head. I don’t get caught up in the rules.
What about the chatterboxes who want all your time?
– However valuable I make myself, people will value me to that extent. They know how much I value my time so they don’t waste my time. When I have self respect and value myself, others will sense that.
– Be aware of what to listen to, who to listen to and why you are listening.
– Don’t have any negative thoughts about a ‘chatter box’ because why should you drop the quality of your thoughts?