Listening... How important is it in your job?
Can you think of misunderstandings or painful situations you have faced or are facing at your work? (And I say work as we are on a “professional platform” but this, of course, can be applied to every aspect of your life.) If you can think of some, can you remember what caused it? No matter what your conflict, disappointment or painful event, if you look deep into it, you will find the root cause of it being “Lack of listening”! And to be clear, lack of listening from both you and the person/s the conflict was about.
You see we are born without speaking skills for a great reason… Instead, we are born with our 5 senses, and listening is one of them! All of which helps us learn and acquire as much information as possible. But as we grow, we are “situated” by our parents and the people in our environment into boxes; the Good and Bad box. So to survive and escape the Bad box and therefore to stop being judged, we start finding reasons for being “right” all the time. Our life becomes about a winning-game…eat-or be eaten! We start developing a fake know-it-all attitude and we listen according to our own Good-Bad, Right-Wrong boxes, beliefs. We listen with an infinite amount of shields… As a result, if the person doesn’t comply with our beliefs, ideas, behaviors or even with our proven dress code styles, we stop listening or never listen in the first place! The funny thing (not really funny) is that we start saying things like: why would I listen to him/her when I KNOW what they are going to say! In other word, we develop unconscious thorns in our speech, eyes, character, writing, and in general, in all our communication means with others and worse with ourselves! A constant judging spree and at the same time an “I Know better than you and I won’t let you tell me how to do my job” attitude.
The truth is that when I first started understanding the importance of listening, I realized how much I pre-judged everything. And believe me, I was the type of person who could pre-judge so incredibly accurate that I would prove myself right each time! And that is because we create our reality no-matter which it is. But when I started to listen more I realized that there were many truths/angles to each situation. After all quantum physics has proven it for those of us who find it harder to believe… Letting go of my unconscious bias and beliefs I would get amazed by how amazing and refreshingly surprising the person or the situation would turn out!
Listening is the most important skill for our success and self-development. But even more powerful than that is when you listen with your heart, meaning to listen with the 6 components of L.A.U.G.H.E: empathy, honesty, affection, giving and unity. What happens when you do? You create TRUST with the person in front of you and they let down their guard and you will be blown away by who they truly are and what they want to say behind the words. And don’t forget to ask questions and make sure you have understood what you heard… be venerable and open… perfectionism is not worthy of the REAL you!