The Secret of listening: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply”- Stephen R. Covey

Greetings Friends,

Today’s article will take a different route because it will be structured to empower any rational mind to think out of the box. One of the greatest force in life is love. There’s an imaginary strength that comes when we truly love. If you have truly loved, you’ll agree with me that you’ll truly listen to what your other partner, friend, family have to say even how they feel. I once read a book by Gary Chapman “The five love language Love language” where the author beautifully wrote about the five love languages (Words affirmation, physical touch, gift, services and time). When you truly care, you’ll apply all this love languages to your partner, friend, work or whatever you are doing. I choose to use love to buttress the important of listening because  in whatever you do in life, if you don’t love, you wont give in your time to it and listening is one of the components of loving .

There are so many things we are stand to gain when we listen to people.  One of the greatest things you can do for anyone is to listen to them. It should be noted that listening comes with respect. Whether you are in the cooperate world, self employed (entrepreneur), Non Government Cooperation or even in the faith based organization, you are bound to listen to your audience because that is the best way to communicate with them while serving them. 

Listening is a choice, you decide to listen to what you like. It is really hard sitting or even standing up listening to people you don’t value. When you listen to podcast or programs of interest, you select music, talks or even comedy of interest that appeals to you. In this digital age, experience has taught me to pay attention to what we truly matters to me. In fact, unless I am sacrificing my time for a worthy cause, if it’s not taking me to the next level and if it doesn’t involve money, it doesn’t worth my time.

In any industry you are in, you need to practice good listening skills. Are you seeking for a job, or are you currently working, you need a good listening skill to succeed in a job environment. With this skill, you can navigate the politics of the job environment. Even a leader needs this skill the most. I have always opine that one of the great art of a leader is the ability to learn. This is because you get more ideas when you listen to your followers. Listening gives you ability to hear (feedback) what others feel about your work. According to Bill Gates “your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of  learning”.

During the course of this article, we shall be discussing the different styles of listening and how we can use effective listening to enhance our business or opportunity of interest.

  1. Practice active listening:  The most important thing you can give to a public speaker is your ears. When you listen to someone you are not only giving the person your time, you are also learning more about the person. There’s a saying you can learn more about a person by he what he/she does than what he/she says. Practicing active listening to is a very good way to learn and be engaged. In communication, what is important is not what is being said, but what is not being said, therein, lies the message. When you practice active listening you hear the unspoken language from the other person in addition to being engaged. According to G.K. Chesterton “there’s a lot of difference between hearing and listening.”  This is because hearing isn’t necessarily listening, nor is it necessarily listening well.  This is because you can hear someone but not present at the same time. Active listening makes you to be present. You may have heard of the saying, the joy of life is not happy you are, but how happy someone can because of you. Everyone loves to be listened and loved. In my book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success, specifically on page 111, I wrote about the four levels of gratitude (Appreciation, administration, approval and attention). In order to understand this teachings you must practice active listening to understand the unspoken words inherent in such deeds.
  • Eye Contact: A great communicator uses eye contact to deliver his/her message. One of the most valuable ways a public speaker uses to communicate with his/she audience is by using eye contact. With eye contact, you can tell if your audience is listening or feeling bored. Sometimes you hear what the person is saying when you look directly in the eyes of the person, sometimes, maintaining a visible presence by looking over the head audience gives them the desired space they need. This is because some people don’t feel comfortable when they have direct eye contact. Eye contact also goes with the body language of the speaker. In communication, sometimes, somethings are better felt than spoken.
  • Don’t interrupt the speaker:  A good way to know a great speaker is by looking how he/she pitches his/point or message. Interrupting a speaker can ruin the flow of information. That is why sometimes, it is good to reserve the questions towards the end of any presentation.
  • Listen without judgment: –: In communication, most times, people listen with the intent to respond as opposed to understanding. This normally plays out most times in marriage. In law, a good to way to apply justice is by listening to the other side. In applying this knowledge, the judge normally use Audi alteram partem, a Latin phrase meaning “listen to the other side”, or “let the other side be heard as well”. It is the principle that no person should be judged without a fair hearing in which each party is given the opportunity to respond to the evidence against them.
  • Meditation: Mediation is a form of listening. According to Thomas Carlyle, “Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together”. Meditation is truly a great form of listening. According to Wayne Dyer, an inspirational author, meditation is simply the act of being quiet with yourself and shutting the constant monologue that fills the inner space. Meditation helps in self discovering. You learn more about yourself when you listen to your inner self as opposed to what other people think of you. There are many benefits that comes with meditation. Examples include, it reduces stress, helps you to focus very well, it reduces anxiety, and it gives you better memory and enhances creativity.

In conclusion, a good listening skill if properly utilized will set you on a good path that will set you before leaders, kings and Heads of Industries if properly applied.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with New York City Department of Correction as the legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success.

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