Let’s emphasize straightforwardly in this case.
What do people react when receiving information in both working environment and social relationship?
They prefer to be a passive hearer or an active listener. That’s your choice. It is clear that hearing is simply a natural ability of human, while listening is definitely a learned skill in order to transform information into meaningful messages. Someone has rightly said that “Hearing is through ears, but listening is through the mind”.
Why is it important to possess good listening skills?
Let me tell you a story about two energetic staffs. When being assigned the same task, they perform in two different ways which embody two different types of the level of listening ability. Candace always shows her comprehensive listening skills. As I saw that she always concentrates and pays attention to whenever we have a meeting for our next campaign. She prepares to actively listen and learn, and then thinking about this topic critically. She takes note carefully the key point after meeting and carries out effectively. Moreover, information selection is one of her strengths. Mainly because she thinks that the key concepts are much more important than the whole of argument in the meeting to answer the questions of What, Who, When, Where, Why and How.
On the other hand, Simon is quite different from Candace. He is a kind of passive listener. An active listener is the one that receives message from speakers, then analyses and responds to strengthen the mutual understanding. A passive one is different because he receives information without analysing, and stops at receiving information but keeping asking many times. It is reasonable that asking questions is a measure to make sure the instructions are understood and be clear,however, without taking note drives him to be difficult to remember the guidance delivered before.
When it comes to listening skills in social relationship, there are two ways that people are going to react when their friends tell them a story on a day hanging out. One of which is that people tend to dig deep into the storytelling to figure out the problem when their friend is confronting. They analyse the issue together and help the friend overcome feelings of pressure. Otherwise, people are not interested in that story, as a result, they show their no inspiration to continue the conversation. Somehow they still respect their friend’s story, but they do not react or do not respond anything, just only “Oh!”, “Really?”, “Seriously?” for example.
Derived from two situations conveyed above, who do you think that they possess a good listening skills? So to review how to be a comprehensive listener, I am going to list these levels of listening to enhance your skills effectively and efficiently. There are five levels of listening that need to be considered.
Ignoring is the lowest stage of listening – not listening at all. It means that people usually interject a remark into the conversation with someone when they are speaking to others. They do not listen to at all with this person, then starting a new conversation with other one.
Pretend listening is easily explained in face-to-face talk. People may nod their head or other gesture to portray that they are listening, but they are not giving their full attention to the conversation. They are able to hear what others say but they do not show their impression.
This stage is a beginning level of an active listener. People tend to pay attention to the speakers when they discuss about aspects that they are interested in; however, not all. They are probably the one that says “So, what’s your point?”. They are more likely to go straightforward to the thing that is important to them and interrupt the conservation when they realize that thing is not amusing anymore.
An attentive listener spend their time and attention on listening to other people. They have a tendency to respond according to their own experience. Instead of putting themselves in others’ situation, they listen and explain with their own perspective.
This is the top level of listening because those who are empathic listening are more likely to pay their full attention to gain the information and respond to develop the understanding in a conservation. It can be referred as the hardest to accomplish this level. However, to give a truly listening is not complicated.
Regarding to Clinical psychologist Kevin Gilliland, to practice to be a skilled listeners, people should following suggests:
Be curious: you’re more favor in listening to what the other says, rather than formulating your response.
Ask good questions: avoid asking yes/no type questions, which are closed-ended. You need to concentrate on questions that invite people to elaborate.
Don’t jump into a conversation too quickly: you should consider easing into the conversation when speaking to someone.
Anchor yourself to the subject and don’t get distracted: you should avoid unrelated topics to distract from the subject.
Stop making up stories: a lot of information which is missing is not a good idea for those who want to listen to your stories.
Don’t make a big deal out of being wrong: If you’re good at admitting fault, this should be a fairly easy tip for you.
Dalai Lama once said:
“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.”
In order to be the leader, we not only need a vision to inspire the team but also need the great ears of listening with empathy to feel the pain and recognize what is not shared on the vocal conversation.
The world will be more peaceful when we stop talking about each other, start listening to each other and collaborate with empathy thanks to listening.