Listening is a skill that has applications in learning, conflict management, counselling and others. But when it comes to listening, many people just prefer to more of the speaking than they should actually listen.
In every relationship issues, there is often a third party to help solve the situation. However, many conflicting persons would just prefer to settle or remain the way they are because many third parties come in to do more harm than good.
This can be attributed to a lack of the necessary skills in dispute management. And just like I pointed out earlier, listening forms an integral part of conflict resolutions. Therefore, every bad third party may just not be listening enough.
In this post, you will learn the key ingredients of listening so that you can be better focused and be able to apply it for learning, conflict resolution and counselling.
I have once heard someone complain to me, "Hey, I can't pay attention to a lecture". Listening is not your problem until you ask yourself how much you remember from what was said 5 minutes ago. Listening can be a difficult thing to do and then when you are needed to fully grasp the issue at hand, you just don't know exactly what to do.
I learnt of the experience of a young girl who had a little misunderstanding with her mother. The third-party that was called on to do the resolutions did fairly well but he just did not seem to listen to the young girl enough. This often creates the feeling of being oppressed and it takes more strength to rise above the feeling and not letting it affect our behaviours towards other people in the distant future, thus fulfilling the saying that "the evil society creates comes back to haunt us".
I have personally experienced how third parties betray you when you give some of them a chance to come between you and someone else in conflict. I am usually very gullible to letting a third party come in. This may be attributed to the fact that I always think everyone should be able to do the right thing as far as conflict resolution concerns. But the reverse is always the case. Fortunately, when I quickly sense that the person does not have the listening capability, I know how to immediately retract as well.
Conflicts are part of our everyday experience and hence, the need to learn how to manage them.
Common to almost every conflict case is that all sides of the conflict usually have some wrongs. Therefore, a good listener would try to find out why both parties did what they did to trigger or prolong the conflict with an attempt to find a soft landing for both parties without trampling on their emotions.
The closer people become, the greater the chances that they will offend each other. Conflicts are part of normal human relationships. However, true progress and harmony are achieved when there is the continual desire to work things out during and after the conflict.
Everyone Deserves To Be Listened ToNot to be heard is the same as not to be considered human at all. No matter how small or how little someone may look, they deserve to be heard. It's always easier to be the chief speaker rather than the listener.
No matter the wrongs, anyone deserves to be heard out in every situation.
Everyone gets angry and offended. I do too. But the most honourable thing is to recognize the fact that they have the right to feel the way they do. After all, you cannot trample on someone and expect them not to react in any way. Do you? Except if you are a dictator and they don't want that.
If you are directly involved in the conflict, after periods of arguments try to listen to them better. It does not make you weaker, it actually makes you stronger. Listening takes us beyond the point where we would normally reciprocate anger to the angered person, to a point where we see things in their own perspective with the goal of resolving your common dispute.
Now let me go on to reveal the one thing I hope to show you in this post. The secret to listening effectively lies in understanding what you need to know while listening.
Focus On What You Want To Listen ToListening is different from just hearing. Of course, you know that quite alright. But one of the major ingredients of active listening is focusing on the important information you want to get. Many things are often said all at once in every speech or lecture or arguments being presented. Your ability to pick out the most important phrases that represent the whole ideas makes your listening better and effective.
In resolving a conflict, your aim should be that you want to find out what the cause was, how they felt and what their reaction was and why they reacted so. When doing this, you must try not to interrupt their flow of words except if you want to clarify something. Interruptions should be as minimal as possible. Careful listening makes them trust in you and your judgment.
When listening to a lecture, your first aim is to get the central idea, after which you begin to focus on additional information. Two approaches exist while listening to a lecture;
The first is, listening to every statement as it comes as if you are reading the statements as sentences.
The second approach is listening to the statements and quickly synthesizing their meanings as fast as possible. However, the second may not be very possible if the lecture is delivered in a hurry.
Speaking Should Come Only AfterWhen you listen to them, you give aggrieved individuals the notion that you care about them. And when you show them that you understand them, the whole burden is lifted off their shoulders. People are actually looking for who to confide in. When a third party proves to be interested in them, they suddenly realize that they were not meant to let things go this way. On their own, they start knowing their wrongs better and when you start telling them their wrongs, they just nod in consent and display this facial appearance of guilt as if they are just waiting for you to give them an opportunity to apologize to each other. When you are able to do this, they can personally claim the entire blame to themselves. You hear one say "the fault is all mine", and the other would respond "no, it's entirely mine. I'm really sorry."
Intense listening should come first, then speaking should only come after. This sure works like magic.
"Come on, give yourselves a hug". That won't be a bad command at the end.
Conclusively, this is not a step by step lesson no listening but it contains almost all the essential ingredients for effective listening with special emphasis on conflict resolution and paying attention to a lecture. I hope you learnt something important. I'm happy if you did. Also, drop your comments below.