We have been given two ears and one mouth by the providence. It is said that one must listen twice as much as one speaks, therefore. Most people talk about things which they are good at. They have thought about these things before. They have learnt these things by ruminating in their minds and have refined these topics. Therefore, it is great to listen more because you are listening to refined thoughts that have immense value. Contrarily, if you are only a talker, you are sharing your refined thoughts with others and not listening to theirs. Therefore, you are losing on a great learning opportunity.
One caution that I shall like to put here is that people talk about a particular situation and may not be talking about things which can be applied in every situation. So, one has to be discerning in applying these learnings. Nevertheless, this learning comes of itself when one listens properly and with discernment and empathy.
Most people don’t listen. They are making their responses when they are listening. This way, they have already lost the opportunity to learn something new. Moreover, their impulsivity to just blabber about themselves and their thoughts, don’t allow them to develop good relationships with others.
In his magnificent autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom”, Nelson Mandela describes the listening ability of a regent who was the leader of the tribe. Whenever a conference used to take place with other chieftains, the regent will listen with great patience to them and will always reply when everyone else had finished. Nelson Mandela learned early on this to be a potent capability of effective leaders.
Listening to others is excruciatingly difficult in the starting phase because one has to go against human nature. Only with consistent practice can one become good at it.
Without listening to others properly, a leader cannot understand the problem and therefore cannot solve the problems. Patience gives understanding whether it is patient reading, patient listening or patiently tolerating the vicissitudes of life. Without understanding, life cannot be lived to its higher levels. Everyone may not know everything but everyone knows something which we are not that much good at. In this way, we can learn many things from others.
Listening skills also make us sober and allow us to put ourselves in the place of others, to see their struggles and challenges. This helps both us and others. We learn that we don’t own all the problems in the world. The other person feels heard and connected to us. Without proper listening, we cannot develop compassion for the challenges and struggles of others. We stop becoming the centre of the universe and start to partake in the constructive works this world is beckoning us for. We also become enveloped in calmness, courage and resoluteness. The best part is that it is all free. Not a dime is needed for reaping all the benefits.
One should strive to listen more. There is no need to blurt out your thoughts when other hasn’t even finished his sentence. If you are patient in your talks, sensible people will be patient with you even if you take more time. The use of talks is not just in talking but to learn something, to make good relations with others and be a sharer in the happiness and sadness of others. It is being said that “listen in such a way that others want to talk to you and talk in such a way that others want to listen to you.”
With these thoughts, I take leave. Live, love and make a difference.