Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Speak Less, Listen more

I know some people who love their own voice and have the need to keep expressing themselves. The minute they get an opportunity they start shooting off their mouths. Others do get bored and look for opportunities to escape when they speak so incessantly. There are many who have this urge to vent their feelings, their thoughts, their ideas and their knowledge. They easily move from topic to topic - sometimes unrelated and unconnected topics!! They misconstrue communication with speaking.

What happens in such situations? People know a whole lot about the speaker and his thinking. The speaker’s feelings and mind become well known. The speaker is usually never able to find out what the other person wants or has to say. He does not wait to find out if the other person agrees or disagrees with his views or has something to add. Others get frustrated with the lack of a meaningful conversation or discussion due to such a monopolisation of the vocal chords. A person who does not listen stops learning / growing.

A better way to have a conversation would be to speak less, ask more questions and listen more. While the other person is speaking, our attention should be focused towards him and we should be listening to both the spoken as well as the unspoken words. Our responses should match the expectations of the speaker and should never interrupt his flow of thoughts. People who are able to listen in such a manner are much sought after and have a large friend circle as they demonstrate a genuine interest in others.

This does not mean that the ideal situation is a one where we are only listening. Any extreme position is avoidable. If we are only listening and not speaking, people may tend to distrust us as they could suspect us of holding on to secrets. Self disclosure is important and should be used appropriately. When we are expected to speak, we cannot become mum or reticent. However, in general, the guiding principle should be we speak less and listen more to come across as good communicators.

The greatest motivational act one person can do for another is to listen. - Roy E Moody

Know how to listen, and you will profit even from those who talk badly.- Plutarch


KParthasarathi said...

Be a good listener if you wish to win a friend's esteem;be a patient listener if you want to win a woman's affection.The emphasis is on listening and not on speaking.
Thanks for highlighting the much needed message

BORAN said...

your blogs are really informative...it was realy nice..yea..we shud be gud listeners,and also try not to fake as if we're listening..What u've written is really true..nice work.!

anupama said...

we are unknown to each other!but you've written this post for me[and about me].
i could have self examination!
thanks alot!

manivannan said...

namaste friend!

Very thoughtful post!Indeed, an important value for life :-)

Also, I read this quote of Mahatma in your previous post...

"One must be as humble as the dust before he can discover truth"

Thanks a lot for sharing, I am writing it down in my journal :-)

Keep writing! And if you find time do visit my blog space, you may like it :-)