Listening... It’s a tired old subject isn’t it? There aren’t any relationship or communications courses without a plethora of material on ‘effective listening.’ It’s enough to make you... well... plain sick of the subject.
Yet, it’s not going away.
Notwithstanding all the good reasons for effective listening, there is one more. Perhaps you hadn’t considered it. I hadn’t; well perhaps implicitly I had, but not consciously.
This reason is that we can actually learn more by listening. It is simply so we can actually learn from those we choose to be in conversation with.
Now, for this reason to be supported we’d need to listen to people who we can actually learn from i.e. we listent because there is something we want to learn and we consider the person authoritative enough to edify us.
Isn’t it funny, however, the majority of people who do have an opinion don’t have what we need--that is quality, factual data. Added to this, their opinions are mostly slanted to their own skewed perceptions.
So, the people we can learn from have two attributes at least. 1) they know what they’re talking about through a healthy mix of earned and learned knowledge, skills and experience, and 2) their views can be trusted as being balanced; and therefore, overall, they’re authoritative in their subject area.
If we truly want to grow to our potential we have to find these people and mix with them and listen to them, allowing their knowledge and what they’re modelling to seep through into our minds and hearts.
If you can do this you, “make your friends your teachers and mingle the pleasures of conversation with the advantages of instruction.” –Balthasar Gracian.
The best thing though is our lives become interesting and full of inspiration. We must surround ourselves with people we can learn from and avoid those we can’t learn from, unless that is, we’re in the capacity of helping these.
Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.