Mr. Sadagopan’s blog has this wonderful piece on attention. Listening is often the most under-rated faculty; and surprisingly amongst the knowledge workers.
Does the urge to dominate the discussion and prevail with one’s view point suppress the listening tendency? Honestly, I used to be a poor listener in my younger days, but a stint at a counseling centre where I was listening to people’s problems, issues, concerns deeply sensitized me to how people articulate, and what needs to be listened to.
I understood and realised that the ability to listen is often a very signficant element in the power to heal, deal and even seal an agreement. And I found the difference between hearing, just listening, listening deeply and empathetic listening. Yes, there are different degrees and styles of learning. I thank Wg. Cdr. Murthy (who I have always referred called as Murthy mama) who mentored me during me that time.
Subsequently in all my business engagements (especially during some difficult times), I have found that some of my failures, if not all has been because I didn’t listen well. Even today, despite the proliferation of distraction devices (IM,mobile phone, email, SMS), when I am really keen to solve a problem, and more specifically a ” people problem” I try to listen: with my body, mind and heart.
Listening to people is often the key to reading a situation well.