Rediscover the ‘lost’ Art of Listening

There is a current perception that listening seemed to be a lost art. The reason could be that we are trained to believe that communication skill is all about the ability to speak articulately and express ourselves well, but we are not told that communication skill also involves active listening.

Listening has been a neglected and under-developed skill. Some bad habits and examples of poor listening are:

  • Those who do not listen to your full story. They interject and give you advice without hearing you fully.

  • Those who do not listen with compassion and empathy.

  • Those who think they “know-all” and insist that their advice is the right one, without fully understanding the context of your situation or emotions.Those who like to gossip your situation to others.

The ancient philosopher Epictetus spoke on the importance of good listening when he said: “we have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak.” The world would be a better place if we would listen more than we speak.Dr Ralph Nichols, “the father of the study of listening,” was right when he said that “the most basic of all human needs is to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.”The experience of being truly heard makes the person who is talking feel worthy, appreciated and respected. When we listen fully and give someone all of our attention, we have already empowered the person seeking advice to find their own answers.

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