The Lost Art of Listening

Recently at a guest lecture in college on communication, a man showed us a brilliant example of how communication works. He wanted to illustrate the various participants of effective communication. He called upon 5 students 4 of whom were asked to wait outside the class. unknown to them, the one student inside was shown a slide which showed in brief a few objects and had a story. The man explained to the first student who did his best to understand it. Then having the slide put off, the first student had to explain to the second student what he had seen and heard. The second student came in heard, and then had to explain to the third. In this way, all the 5 students heard some bits of the story.

What was hilarious in this whole example, was that like Chinese Whispers, the whole story changed by the time it reached the last person. It turned out to become a satire instead of a news story. I can’t tell you the whole details of the story because its too big, but that was it in short.

We learnt the following about communication that day:

  • You need to LISTEN well
  • Communicate in simple understandable sentences.
  • Use Audio and visual aids even gestures where necessary.
  • Be loud enough.

Out of these four, the one I needed to work on the most is listening. I’m not the listener type. I can so easily fall asleep during a conversation if it doesn’t show me any value. Some of my friends (especially girls) can sit all day listening to each other. I need to take part in a conversation to be part of it. I constantly like to butt in where I feel I could add some information to the dialogue or even help the speaker. In the process, I have noticed that a lot of people have been put off.

These days my one aim is to begin meaningful conversations. Listening is becoming my aim. No matter how impatient or anxious I get, I’m learning to control myself and hope that I’m able to fit into the phrase ‘Still waters run deep’ i.e. I don’t want to be known as  an empty vessel that just makes a lot of noise.

If you relate with the same thing have a look at this post, it’s got some good tips and the related posts are very good as well. Have a great day!

The Lost Art of Listening.

The Author of the post is a CEO of a big Publishing firm and very nicely integrates technology, life and scripture.


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