The importance of listening cannot be overemphasised. There’s a saying that Listening is one of the greatest forms of respect a person can give to another, but how true is that? We know that communication is essential in any relationship and our interaction with people, but what defines communication? Two parties talking to each other with none taking in the information being passed? Or a person talking while the receiving party patiently and tolerantly listens?
We find out that when we’re talking and we perceive that we’re being “listened to,” it gives us a feeling of being respected and esteemed, however, do we really know what listening entails? Do we know the difference between listening and hearing? Don’t worry, I’ll tell you.
The art of listening shouldn’t be mistaken with hearing. Hearing is simply the physical ability we’re born with to hear sounds coming from people when they talk to us. Now, listening goes a lot further than that. In the art of listening, we find that we put our full attention in the conversation we’re having, we wait until the speaker may have finished talking before replying. This is done so we can fully understand what the speaker is trying to say and grasp every detail of it.
Just as I said earlier, the importance of listening cannot be overemphasised and here are some of the reasons;
• We Get A Better Understanding Of The Words Spoken To Us.
One good thing about listening is that it doesn’t just end at being able to understand what the speaker is saying. We’re also able to read visual cues which the speaker might be unconsciously displaying, such as facial expressions and body language as this helps us to understand the true meaning behind the words being spoken wholly. This happens to be the full package of the art of listening.
• Listening Helps Build A Strong Relationship, Rapport And Connection With The Speaker.
When we lay back and listen to what other people are saying and not just talking about ourselves all the time, it puts them in an emotional and mental state that’s flowing with positive energy and makes them feel better about themselves. This way, no matter the differences between both parties, there’s the feeling of openness and trust as most people are inclined to trust people who are good listeners. They feel important just knowing you give them your time and feel better about themselves and are very much likely to want to spend time with you and know you better.
We now know the importance of listening to people and not just talking about ourselves all the time, but what actually happens when we are ignorant and don’t listen to others? It’s almost the exact opposite.
You’d agree with me when I say that when we’re not listened to, it affects us in diverse ways such as losing our sense of identity and our sense of always wanting to be acknowledged for the things we do and say. Not being listened to can cause us emotional distress, low self-esteem, and even extending into a full-blown rejection of our self and persona. The list is quite extensive if I must say and a good person would know better than not listening to people when they speak next time.
When we’re ignorant to what other people are saying, they tend to act withdrawn and lose their confidence. They act disconnected because of the feeling of being non-existent and more often than not, their self-esteem drops.
Communication is an essential component in building and maintaining a successful relationship, and it’s not surprising the role listening plays in it.