These days, there are many different ways of expressing ourselves. We can do so on paper, over the phone, on the internet and in person. But being able to listen to the response, hearing the feedback and letting that sink in, that’s where the magic happens.
For myself and I’m sure for most of us, it takes a lot of self-awareness to realise just how often we listen to others with the intention to hear what we want to hear - and then say our part.
We listen without really listening.
To be truly open to hearing someone out, we might have to be willing to hear exactly what we don’t want to hear. We assume that we’re good listeners because we keep our opinions to ourselves… but as we keep quiet, our minds are racing… Wondering… “Is this really how they feel?”. But does this really leave enough space for us to hear the other person?
Being an active listener comes in handy. It could be during a meeting at the office or even during an activity with friends.It also means knowing that you don’t have all the answers. It requires practice, mindfulness, and the ability to let go, breathe and love.
Listening allows us to connect with others in different ways. We open up to a new way of doing things - as long as we can suspend our own expectations.
It can be incredibly difficult to let go of our own thoughts andexpectations and to really listen induring the moment, but there is onebest practice I like to do to help me remember how important it is to truly hear another person out:
Whenever I feel the need to “tune up” my listening skills, I feel the most at peace when I spend time in nature. It changes my mindstate. I realize that nature isn’t just something outside around me, but also a part of my own self.
Whether it’s when I’m walking on the beach or when I stare into the night sky, these moments are when I truly experience the feeling of being connected with one’s “true listening” ability. Knowing that I won’t hear anything back, this is how I visualize and practice my mind to interact with others. Once done, I can then do the same with the people around me.
The act of being an active listener doesn’t need to be a complete overhaul overnight. I recommend taking some time to try this whenever possible. Setting aside a moment out of your day (every day) to put this into motion will make the transition go smoothly.You’ll be surprised at how different the world will look and feel if you start doing this.
Imagine if everyone would also do this!
Feel free to share with us what you do to become a good listener in the comments below. :)