Listening is an important factor in learning and teaching or impacting knowledge. It can also hugely influence one’s prospects for survival in life. To benefit from any programme, meeting or event you attend much depends on how you listen.
Listening involves lots of variables.
Let’s dive into them.
1-Heart-Prepare your heart
If you don’t prepare your heart to listen, you will hear what has been said but fail to act correspondingly.
So open you heart to take in, digest and remember the message given to you at the first place wherever you find yourself.
This will help you to appreciate the efforts, time and sacrifices people put in to give you or impact that knowledge on you.
Preparing the heart also means to get ready to listen.
Take this example: If you are talking with someone on phone and you didn’t prepare you hard to listen, this is what happens: the only thing the other person may hear will be yes, hmm, okay, I hear and the likes. This is because you didn’t want to listen or engage in the conversation. You didn’t prepare your heart to listen. You didn’t open you heart to listen. You were not ready to listen.
The eyes strongly influence where we focus our attention .Use them to help you focus by keeping them on the speaker, the trainer or the coach who is giving you the message or taking you through the programme or the event you are partaking .
When any reference is given, and you have the opportunity or chance to look it up, do check it immediately and follow along with the presenter.
Sometimes, you have to resist the urge to turn your head in the direction of every noise or movement happening inside or outside.
The eyes can inundate your mind with distracting news or remembrances. In this case, you miss much of the things being presented.
Our mind may be stormed with lots of things amongst others anxieties, difficulties noise, movement inside or outside the place where you are. It could be a classroom, a meeting place, entertainment place or any other settings. Those disturbances may distract and distort you listening and attention.
If you are at place where some of the audience have babies or younger children, it could be another attention distorter.
So if it happens that way, what can keep you focus, attention and increase your listening span?
Just mentally respond to questions, listen carefully to comments given any time you can.
These variables are intertwined and interwoven. They don’t work separately. No! They work together or concomitantly.
Let’s take a scenario: If you have been in courtship with a girl in view of marriage, you would have noticed how important the different variables mentioned earlier had contributed to the success of your plans. If one of them lacked, you might have ended up breaking up or abandoned your adventure.
This shows how helpful and fruitful these variables enable active listening and living a fulfilled life.
So next time you are engaging someone or you are engaged, actively use them.
But, don’t only listen to people; listen to the nature and the creation around us. They have lots to teach us.
Yesterday our new General Manager called me into his office to enquire about what I do in the school and tell him about my vision as a teacher in this complex, multicultural and multilingual football academy.
After we finished, he asked “do you have any advice for me”?
I answered,” listen, listen, and just listen”.
“Why should I listen “he hurriedly asked?
Do you know how I answered to his question?
Ok. If you want to know, please read this article to the end because the answer will be provided at the bottom of this piece.
We all need a listening ear to move forward.
If you are a teacher, you will understand it better. As teachers, we use this word repeatedly throughout the day. We want our students to listen and pay attention to us while we are delivering our lessons.
As a teacher listening to you students will rapidly foster and accelerate their educational progress. It will ensure that all these young people develop the necessary skills they need for a fast- changing world we find ourselves in.
If you are a student, you wish, your teachers listened more and more to your concerns and abilities and treat you as individual not as a group.
If you are a leader, listening to your subordinates will help you give them the necessary tools and means to achieve their assigned tasks and goals.
If you are a worker, you may love that your boss listens and understands your heartfelt desires so that it minimizes your concerns, difficulties and what a view for the better advancement of the work you are doing.
If you are parent, listening carefully to your kids’ problems and concerns will help you dive deep into their inner circle and find sustainable solutions for them. It will even help design some action plans for their future.
As kids, we all wish our parents listened to our pleas and grievances with the aim that they give us more freedom or liberty.
As you can see, we all need to listen to each other.
Are you colleagues? Listening will remove misunderstandings, build confidence and trust for a better cohesion and collaboration at the workplace.
Are you a marketer in this digital era?
Listening will help you to better understand you potential customers’ problems and design a better offer to meet their needs.
Are you a writer?
Listening will help you craft nice pieces that your readers will love and learn from. They will adulate you because your book meets their needs and can solve their problems if they apply what you prescribed.
In all kind of work, listening is key. It is primordial. It opens door. Lack of listening leads to arrogance, failure, misunderstanding, conflict even war.
So listen, listen, and just listen before you act.
Now this was what I replied to our new General Manager.
“I have been working here for the past seven years. You are the third manager who came for this position. None of the past ones demanded to talk to us individually neither asked for advice as you are doing now. That shows you are ready to listen.
Moreover, for the past years, the communication between the top management and the base seemed to be one way.
This state of affairs lead to backbites, murmurings etc…
I saw many prolific and desirable workers leave this place just because they felt they were not listened to the way it should be”
I commended him for his move and urged him to continue in the same line.
He also thanked me for my openness and confidence.
In conclusion, the next time, you sit next to someone, you go for a programme, you are at your workplace, and you have training, or deliver a speech: listen or pay an attentive ear to you audience, what it happening beside you.
You have a lot to gain than to lose.