“- I listen to Bob Marley, Jack Johnson…

– But do you listen?

– Yes!”

Re-Thinking our listening skills

Quite a lot of people in the world can hear sounds getting through their ears. Most of us can hear the sound of a car, the sound of a bird, our mum yelling to us, our favourite music, the teacher explaining something to us, our friends asking us something, our boss…

We hear sounds passing through our ears, people talking, noise… But hearing is not listening.

If you look for definitions of “listening” you will find that it is said something like: “give attention to someone or something in order to hear him, her or it”.

The truth is that listening is a really important part in the act of communication, but often overlooked. It has become an art and it is said that is getting quite lost in modern society. Listening involves paying attention to one thing, and therefore, being present. 

Since we are at school, we are taught how to speak, how to read, how to solve certain problems… Are we taught about the importance of listening?

“We hear quite a lot, that is why we need to take notes. If instead, we are taught how to listen, maybe we wouldn’t need to write down everything”.

In the era of communication we live, there is a lot of talking going on, but not much listening. The act of listening is, indeed, a process that requires effort. And only if we understand the importance of each piece of this magical puzzle, we will become better communicators, thinkers, listeners and speakers. Not only in our professional life, but also on our daily basis.

The process of listening involves paying attention and putting our effort into receiving the information through all our senses; understanding what that message means where asking questions to figure out the meaning makes it easier; remembering and making use of our memory; evaluating and processing all the info, and after all, responding to what we have listened. 

It may sound quite a lot, but in fact, mastering this process is like everything, the more you practise, paying attention and being present, the better you will become.

Listening is in fact a humbling and rewarding practise. But many times we get caught by so much stuff going on in our minds, with noise and distractions that make no mental and emotional space to be able to listen to the other side.

I heard once that “our mind is either expressing or perceiving”. When we are expressing, we are not increasing our wisdom, but instead, when we perceive, we learn, and therefore we increase our wisdom.

Whether you want to succeed at your business, grow your mindset, perform better at your sport, improve your relationships…Whatever it is you want to achieve. You gotta listen. You gotta perceive. Otherwise, there is no growth. There is no success.

Don’t let the ego get in the way.

“- Do you listen?

– I think I should learn how to.”