We Do Not Listen to Pay Attention, We Listen to Respond

· June 1, 2016

We hear, but we do not listen. We are in a society where we are not always interested in what others have to say because all that counts is what we are convinced of. Listening is an attitude in life that is not always practiced.

According to several studies by Daniel Goleman, individuals who achieve professional success are often people who are more receptive and have a higher range of interest. People with an ability for closeness and listening  have more control over situations and human resources.

He who knows how to listen perceives his silence, even the most subtle gesture of the person in front of him because talking is a necessity but listening is an art that not everyone possesses.

Communication is not based on the emission of a message by two or more people. Communicating also depends on our personality, our emotional intelligence and our empathy. We invite you to reflect on it.

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“Mental noise” limits our ability to listen

We talk too much but do not listen. According to the economist and broadcaster, Otto Sharmer, people should provide an opening that stems directly from our heart. That’s how they access the deepest levels of their emotional perception and become more receptive.

If nature gave us ears, it was not just so that we could hear but so that we can also learn to listen. Now if in our day to day lives we can’t do it or are not efficient enough it is because of the interference of these “mental noises”:

  • We listen with the “autopilot” on and with habits we have acquired where we do not want others to convince us of things we supposedly already know.
  • We are focused on ourselves and on the “but I already know that…”
  • We often limit our ability to listen to that which selectively confirms our beliefs.

If the basic law of human relationships is our capacity for interconnection, we should put aside this individuality and that rumor of individualism based on the fence around the word “I”, in order to allow adequate opening to our environment. We will explain how.

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When we listen from the heart it is an art

Wilbur Schramm, a noted expert in communication models, explains that when establishing a dialogue what matters is not the message itself, but the emotional state of the partners. It could be summed up in something like “I answer what I feel and do not do it based it on what I hear.”

Our mind talks to us all the time: it intertwines rumors of the past, unsatisfied desires, fear, limiting attitudes, strict beliefs, worries and emotions. Sometimes it is almost impossible to break away from all of this to connect with who we have in front of us.

If your mind traps you at all times with its noise, how do you think your ability to listen will be?

dandelion 1

Mute your mind and “decelerate”

As you know, “slow” movement is fashionable. It is actually a philosophy to embrace because we need for our existence to move quickly.

Think about your ability to decelerate a bit to take control of what surrounds you and free up your mind to appreciate the present more fully. Disconnect each day  from outside noise (phone, traffic, TV) to work on internal noise and clean it out.

Develop your intuition

What does intuition have to do with our ability to listen? Being intuitive is having the ability to not assume things before listening. It is knowing when to pay attention with an open heart and a clear mind, without prejudices or prior convictions.

Sometimes, just looking at the person speaking with a smile and a sincere look to make him see that you understand is enough. Sensing emotions of others is about applying empathy to our conversations. It is offering closeness and understanding. Knowing how to sense is having the ability to say everything we need to at the right time and not being stuck with the “I should have told him, I should have told him yes or no, that we should have tried again…”

Be receptive to other points of view, allow yourself to feel and learn

We talk too much and do not listen to those around us the way we should, when in fact, their opinions and experiences may be of interest or enrich us.

We live in a society where we are more interested to see what our friends publish on social networks, rather than serve them in person to hear what they may tell us. Be receptive to everything around you, open your mind and allow yourself to be more free, more curious. Sometimes a simple conversation, can lead you to a revelation, a real personal change. Dare yourself to experience it.

Listening is feeling like the other person is part of us, without barriers, by empathetically, freely and honestly embracing their existence…

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