What is communication? Is it just about your speaking out your heart and thoughts to people who are listening to you or there is something more to it? Many of us often forget to understand the importance of listening as far as complete and effective communication is concerned. Just being a good speaker or a glib talker is not enough to propel you to success and make you a leader. One of the most important traits for all of us is to understand the importance of listening to people.
Especially when it comes to managing relationships in families with your spouse, parents, children and relatives it is extremely important for you to master the art of listening in communication.
The same applies to workplace too. You might be a boss with a number of people working under you. However if you want the best out of your team you should cultivate the habit of listening to them and trying to understand problems from their perspective. This will make your subordinates feel important and will enable them to contribute positively for the productivity of the organization. It has also been found that leaders and heads of families who are good at listening are liked by others and a positive bondage develops between them which is good for all.
We have to understand the fact as is the case with speaking and communicating; listening is also a skill that has to be developed over a period of time.
While you are listening to somebody talking it is very important to keep your mind alert and be where exactly the conversation is taking place. It would be uncouth and indecent to say “Can you come back again”. This apart from making the person speaking to become irritated also goes a long way in your losing trust and liking by your subordinates.
Further it is a fact that there is a lot of difference between listening to music and songs and listening to what people have to say. While in the former you can afford to let your mind wander, the same cannot be the case when you are interacting and communicating with people. There are many ways and means by which you can convey to the other person that you are listening intently. Small questions and interludes like “Is it so?” and “What do you plan to do about it?” can go a long way in establishing a sense of trust and rapport with the persons with whom you are communicating. In case you are not sure about a certain point, it would always be better to interrupt and say “Sorry, I did not get you, Can you repeat it please?” rather than pretending to hear and understand the later making a big gaffe of it.
It has been found all over that good leaders are very good listeners first and only then are they counted as being good speakers. Unless you are a good listener you can never be a good communicator and unless you are a good communicator you cannot be a leader who is liked by one and all.
Hence it does make good sense to develop the art of listening.