“Good listeners, like precious gems, are to be treasured.”
Walter Anderson

How many of us actually take the time to truly listen to someone? I like to think of my self as a good listener, but after further inner analysis I am very poor in this area. I have hundreds of things going on in my head and it is very hard for me to focus on one thing, and be in the moment. I think inside we want to believe we are listening to someone, but most of the time our minds are either elsewhere or we are thinking of what to say back. If this is the case then we are not really listening. One of the things the Tao tries to teach is listening and being receptive to what is being said. In this process we are open minded and are able to receive the speaker’s feelings and opinions. When the speaker sees we are open minded and receptive then they to become open minded and receptive.

My greatest sin when it comes to listening is if I need to defend or explain myself. If I am in a conversation where this is the case I immediately shut down to what the other person is saying and instead just keep repeating my response before I forget it. This whole time I am repeating my response I have now just missed a vital part of the conversation. I need to practice listening to the entire point, and then formulate my response. If I am listening without thinking of ways to defend or justify it leaves my ears and my mind open to what is being said. Perhaps I will process criticism in a better way, and be receptive to change.

When entering into a conversation with another person decide to approach these interactions involving other people with a completely fair mind-set, which you allow and trust to guide your response. I think the key word here is a “fair mind-set.” If we approach all of our conversations as an empty level playing field we can be better receptive to hear what the speaker is saying. We can do this because we are empty of judgments or personal opinions. By becoming empty we can truly hear what the person is saying, and perhaps we can actually hear their feelings and opinions instead of hearing our personal feelings and opinions.

Try to listen to someone express an opinion that’s the opposite of yours. Refuse to impose your position, and instead remark “I’ve never considered that point of view. Thank you for sharing your ideas with me.” By allowing a contrary position to be heard, you’ll dismiss ego’s attitude and welcome the flexibility of the Tao. I think when we are listening to someone it is important to acknowledge their opinions or feelings. By validating these feelings and opinions the speaker then feels comfortable and as a result becomes more receptive to what you may or may not say back to them.

I am sure there are hundreds of other ideas on how to become a good listener. I think this is an important trait to have yet difficult to achieve. I have worked for years on ways to become a better listener. There are times I am great and others not so well. This for me is an ongoing quest to achieve perfection in this area. If I were to be completely honest I think my major roadblock in achieving this is selfishness. I need to improve on placing others before myself. Hold on; I think I just cracked this code!! The way to become a better listener is to be selfless and put the speaker’s feelings before your own.

 It’s always nice to talk things out.

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Comments
  1. Nicole says:

    crazy isnt it…. how so many not so wonderful traits in a person can be easily and quickly turned around by simply being selfless.

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