Listening to others, the best skill you can have



Listening to others, the best skill you can have

The sense of hearing, alongside the senses of sight, smell, touch and taste, it's one of the five senses of our body.
Those senses let us interact with the outside world and let the world interact with us.

In this myTake, we'll mainly talk about the sense of hearing, but the others will play a role too.

Today we talk about the art of the listening.
There's difference between hearing and listening.

Simply put, hearing is the sense that allows you to distinguish sounds and noises with your ears.
Listening is the active process of receiving and responding to verbal and non verbal messages.

Listening to others, the best skill you can have

I personally think that attentive listening it's one of my modest qualities, since I really like to hear other people's opinions, even if I don't agree with them and can have an hard time accepting them, but recently I got into the mindset that I can always learn something new from others. I'm not afraid to ask questions and details, in that sense I'm a literal "knowledge vampire".

Maybe not literally...
Maybe not literally...

But, it's not some kind of "gift": It's a skill that can be learned.

Listening to others, the best skill you can have

So, let's see how listening, or better yet, attentive listening can help us develop our interpersonal skills as a whole and make our life and those of the people around us better.
First off...

- Distinguish what's important and what's not
There's clearly a difference between something a friend/partner/family member is saying to you, what your boss and a colleague are telling you, or what a fellow passenger on the train is saying to make idle chat.

To distinguish what's important and what's not, you need too...

- Be aware of the situation: who, what, where, when and why

Listening to others, the best skill you can have

Put in one word, context.
Understanding the context is the key to start understanding the other person's motives, feelings, emotions and reactions.

There's difference between a formal context and a more informal and relaxed one.

- Focalize on the other person
Focalize all your attention on who is talking to you: what they are saying, their movements, how they are approaching you. In a word, observe them (sense of sight) and if you are in a kind of closeness and relationship that allows it, take note of how they touching you or themselves, or inanimate items.

- Look how they interact on a physical level

Listening to others, the best skill you can have

As said before. Look at their physical mimic.
Is the other person crossing their arms? Sign of closure and defensiveness.
Are they keeping their arms behind their back? It may be a sign of trust, since they are leaving their chest open to you, but also hiding their hands.
Focus on how they touch you - it's the punctuation and conjunctive of what they are trying to communicate to you.

- Give feedback
That's very important. Show that you are receiving and elaborating what they are communicating to you. Ask questions, repeat what they said to make sure you got it right and show them you actually listened. It's that simple, really.

This brings us to another simple, yet very important thing.

- Say their name

Listening to others, the best skill you can have

Our name, that we like it or not, it's the sweetest sound for our brain.
So, don't be afraid to call them by their name, or nickname if they prefer it.
It will actually foster a lot of good feedback and positive feelings in the person that's talking to you, because you are recognizing them as individuals.

- Show them that they are everything that matters to you in that moment
Just for that moment, put them on top of your world and make sure to show it. They are everything that matters and you are giving all your attention and care to them, and once they notice that, they'll love it. They will really feel like the unique, unrepeatable individuals they are.

As a basic tenet, smile, be encouraging and maintain eye contact.

Listening to others, the best skill you can have

- Finally, understand that you can't understand everything
We are humans, not computers. We aren't fail-proof.
There will be misunderstandings, misgivings and worries, it's just normal.
What matters is that we are willing to work on that and to remedy our mistakes, always.


Thanks for reading, and don't forget to write your opinion on this myTake!

Listening to others, the best skill you can have
Listening to others, the best skill you can have
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Most Helpful Girls

  • Kas19
    I've been told I'm easy to talk to and a greta conversationalist, and I do think those things are inprotant. It's how we can truly listen and understand one another. Many strangers find it easy to open up with me and be a little vulnerable. I find it endearing and brave of them because people can be horrible if you open up to the wrong person.
    Is this still revelant?
    • I think that you really are a very patient, empathetic and understanding person, so that's why many people open up to you.

    • Kas19

      That's pretty true. I appreciate that. It never bothers me when they do and I keep it confidential.

  • PaynefulPleasures
    A famous quote:
    The word listen contains the same letters as the word silent. Alfred Brendel
    The three A's to listening.
    Is this still revelant?

Most Helpful Guys

  • ChrisMaster69
    Yep listening is so important, the usual 2 ears 1 mouth.

    also you touch on ‘listening’ with our eyes on the body language of how’s things are said, the way they are said etc.

    this is especially true when listening to some ones problems, as body language can sort of show if there is more to come
    Is this still revelant?
  • Leavesbound
    I'm very shy in person and so I don't do a lot of talking which results in frequent accusations of being a good listener.
    Is this still revelant?

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • midnightmoon05
    Listening to others, the best skill you can haveIm not religious. I can learn a lot from listening to others.
    During dinner time with my kids, I always listen to them.
    Few days ago, I asked my daughter, 13, If she notice that I do the talking or listening.
    She said I listen. Thats how I know how my kids feel and know how to raise them - by listening to them.
    • That's very true and your daughter is right, you are a very good and attentive listener!

  • Poppykate
    I am the worst at communicating. I will often walk and talk. I am always in a hurry to be doing the next thing that needs to be done.
    • If I can be frank I don't think that's entirely true, you seem to be a pretty good and patient listener to me!

    • Poppykate

      That’s sweet. But I have a really busy life offline. So I guess I don’t always take the patience to communicate effectively. I go on GAG to relax. There is nothing better to relax than to focus on some else’s problems!

  • Nice job! I agree people need to listen not just hear...
  • WowwGirl
    I loved the psychology aspects..
    • Thank you!

    • WowwGirl

      Sure... Look at my last question please I'm curious on your thoughts...
      It's in my area and everyone is celebrating

  • Satish2607
    Listening is a really needed skill.
  • msc545
    Excellent mytake - thank you!
  • Anonymous
    What's this sudden change? Why are you so rainbow and sunshines all of a sudden?