Attention! At ease.
No wonder this is the first military call
Attention! – it is a call to listen, focus, get in position – ready to engage.
At ease – relax and pay close attention to the next command/ action.
Firstly, listening opens the door to knowledge, information, and ease in any communication event. Have you ever been accused of not listening or understanding the subject matter? Then, you are not alone.
Welcome to my blog, and thank you for spending these minutes with me.
Today, we will explore the world of LISTENING.
“Shhh! listen. What do you hear?“
Secondly, listening is important for calmness, proper articulation of thought, and especially effective communication with your spouse, team members, friends, competitor, supervisor, subordinates, etc. More importantly, I believe it is a life-improving skill.
So many cultures and occupations such as the Military, Therapists, Medical Practitioners, Analysts, Business Consultants, and especially Buddhist Monks give great evidence to the possibility and benefits of this practice.
Listening is the front end of decision-making. It’s the surest, most efficient route to informing the judgments we need to make, yet many of us have heard, at one point or other in our careers, that we could be better listeners. Indeed, many people take listening skills for granted and focus instead on learning how to articulate and present their own views more effectively.
One of the basic building blocks of communication–and one of the most difficult skills to learn and practice–is effective listening. We all spend much of our time hearing other people speak, but not necessarily listening to what they are really saying.
Instead, we daydream, start formulating responses before hearing the whole point, and interrupt to make a tangential comment. Meanwhile, we have failed to understand the speaker’s real point and the thoughts or feelings underlying that point.
Active listening requires not just that you learn and remember more of what the other party has said, but also that you communicate your interest and involvement to that party, as well. It requires effective use of verbal and nonverbal communication, as well as mental and emotional discipline.
Recently, while studying the active and reflective listening; an MIT Sloan Communication Program Teaching Note by JoAnne Yates, Sloan Distinguished Professor of Management (great read by the way); I gained clarity and now appreciate better the importance of listening, and its role in effective communication and business solutions.
Interestingly, I realized that good listening — the active and disciplined activity of probing and challenging the information garnered from others to improve its quality and quantity — is the key to building a base of knowledge that generates fresh insights and ideas.
Active listening = Success
Preferably, good listening can often be the difference between success and failure in any partnership or business venture. Hence, between the pursuit and gains of life and career successes, listening is a valuable skill that most people spend little time cultivating.
Initially, it may be difficult to actively listen and respect varying opposing opinions, eventually, when you do listen, trust me you will wish you started earlier – it makes a whole new difference. It becomes less stressful to engage with an open mind;
- Helps you gain information
- Improves understanding of the problem/ opportunity
- Aids cooperative work with others various points/ perspectives
- Boost focus and synergy for effective cooperation
Furthermore, by recognizing and practicing active listening, we can begin improving our communication skills and even those of our team members.
In my next blog, I will give you tips on how to improve your listening skills.
Until next time, stay safe and have a great day.
Article by Ezinne Okuku