How Well Do You Choose To Listen?

How Well Do You Choose To Listen?

From the time you realized you had the ability to hear sound, the skill of listening has always been available to you.  Many consider it the most important aspect of communication.  However, it is often a skill not used my many to its fullest potential.  If however, one is conscious of what true listening is, versus what it is not, it is one of the most powerful skills that can be developed and used effectively over a lifetime.

Much of what happens in day to day conversation is what can best be termed subjective listening.  At this level of listening the agenda is based on the needs of the listener and not the speaker.  When the listener hears the speaker they interpret what is being heard through their own experiences or on how it relates to them.  Such a style of listening rarely satisfies the speaker and in fact often frustrates them.  Generally the listener is more concerned in such interactions of controlling what is being conveyed for their own good and so they don’t really listen to what is being said.

A stronger level of listening is when the listener fully focuses on the person who is speaking.  This is known as objective listening.  The listener is not concerned on how what is being conveyed impacts them.  They do empathize with what is being said, and what the listener is trying to convey.  However, if all the listener is able to do is provide a sympathetic ear but little in the way of response to really get at the “heart” of what is needed by the speaker, there is still something missing in the conversation.

A truly skilled listener who is able to offer connection to the speaker and often the comfort they seek, is the intuitive listener.  With intuitive listening, the listener is allowing all of their sensory components to be part of the conversation.  This includes listening for tone of voice, energy level and feelings of the speaker.  They also listen for what is NOT being said and look to tune into between the lines of the conversation.  As one begins to practice more and more listening at this level, they find that they become a more powerful listener than before.  Connections to others become deeper than they ever were in the past.

It is also important to remember that listening is not also something that you do in conversation with others but is also something you do in conversation with yourself.  The same levels of listening still apply.  When you accept the voices of others that say to you that something can’t be done, you are only listening subjectively to their feelings and not yours.  The more you are able to connect to what you really want to do and move forward in your life, the greater the ability you have to tap into your greatest potential and satisfy your strongest desires.

So, remember there is so much for one to gain by improving their listening skills.  Among the benefits are that one truly learns the needs, ideas, concerns and perspectives of others.  The more intuitive the listening, the less judgmental one is of what is being said and is only focused in the moment as to what is being spoken.  As one focuses more and more they gain a greater knowledge about what they are learning and how they may be able to turn it into an opportunity for creating a successful situation for themselves and the listener.

Above all, be patient with yourself as you look to sharpen your abilities in this area.  You are only human.  Subjective or objective listening will still be part of your conversations as you go through your day.  However, possessing the awareness of focusing in on the more intense levels of listening is a valuable tool to have as you look to work through the day to day trials you and those around you come up against.