I have often noticed that I used to forget the things my supervisor or others tell to me at my workplace & other places. Due to which I used to run into rework or silly issues and when I am reminded by them again, I will go ahead remember it and then finish the work. I end up criticizing myself for the trivial mistakes which I have committed and then with end up with some unsuccessful attempts to justify the reasons for my mistake & start repenting.
After regretting for a lot of times, I have decided to find out the root cause for this problem and found out an essential thing and that is I am just listening with my ears. Just with my ears … I mean that I was hearing only with my ears and not with my mind /heart and this was causing this problem.
Why do we listen with our ears only?
I guess I used to do this kind of multitasking before also but as I am in a responsible and answerable position to others for my work now than before, I am able to notice this issue. As, I was just a student previously I was not held responsible for anything previously but now as I am accountable, listening with just my ears is causing some severe problem to me. I was searching for the reasons on why do we just listen with ears.
One more reason is, when we are being told something by others we tend to focus on many other activities including listening so other than listening to the actual message, we end up doing other things due to which we tend to lose the important information which is intended to us. During listening we tend to do focus on & do multiple things these are different to different person based on his / her mindset but in common for most of the people they think of their own reply while they are listening to the opposite person. That way we can’t answer effectively to the point and have to give a lot of explanation which will drag the topic and change the outcome of the discussion.
The importance which we give to the message also depends on whether we focus on listening to that message or not because the way we listen to our juniors and supervisors would be different as the importance will differ. Of course, the importance has to change from person and role of the person but as Aristotle said, we are what we repeatedly do. Hence, excellence is not an act it’s a habit. To become excellent in listening we should focus on the both the category people
Why should we listen?
If someone is telling us something then he has minimum expectation for you to pay attention to it, by not listening to them properly you fail to reach the expectation of the opposite person and added to that we miss the message given by him which might give room to the birth of some miscommunication and we can’t guess how will it turn out to be.
Listening is an art & if listen effectively then you can be more productive, if you have noticed my scenario at the beginning of the post – if I would have listened properly what was being told to me & would have worked for that then there is no room for apologizing, no rework would have been there, no tension / regret would have been there. I would have finished my work very quickly and effectively and without the unnecessary disturbances in the middle.
How can we train ourselves to listen with our Mind
Our mind is a fantastic organ which focuses on things which are interesting only that’s why I think it doesn’t like listening because listening might not give you any glory / name / fame at that point of time but talking gives you lot of fame & name due to which our mind always tends to prepare for the reply than to listen to the message.
But, if we can explain our mind that listening is more beneficial than talking then it will help us in listening more effectively. How can we explain to it? Empty vessels make more noise, is an old saying, but it is valid now also because if you see accomplished persons they speak very less but if they speak it would be very effective & thought provoking. So, train your mind by reminding the importance of words, what trap lies in giving a word without thinking & how important is listening.
Try reading stories & books on great personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Sachin Tendulkar, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet etc.
Sachin Tendulkar is one of most admirable star of cricket and he keeps his mind calm always and never speaks out of word without careful thinking because I used to see many cricketers do sledge and on counter to that other cricketers start into a quarrel but Sachin listens to all the sledging with a calm mind gives back a smile in return and continues his playing such is the way how great personalities react by proper listening. There were many small fame cricketers who get into a quarrel over reacting without listening and end up ruining their fame and character in front of the world.
Listening attentively can be taken as a barrier to differentiate people. It actually does differentiate people.
So, Don’t just listen with your ears. Listen with your Mind & Heart only then you will be able to get others message which way you will communicate back well which is a key for becoming a Leader.
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Bye… Take care…