When I was a child, I used to blabber all the time. That made me an annoying kid amongst others. Hence, I was neglected and ignored most of the time.
My words and sentences never made any sense, even to me. What was it that made me talk so much? I was never able to figure out, why you ask. Because I wasted most of my energy talking all day.
One sunny day, my aunt sat next to me and gave me an advice. She said, 'You have two ears and one mouth, wouldn't it be great if you follow the ratio? Listen more and talk less, to see some magic happen'.
My ten-year-old mind went quiet. It got me thinking and I wondered what it was like to listen more and talk less? I did not know. Let us fucking find it out. Therefore, I decided to experiment with this idea of listening.
I started listening more and kept quiet most of the time. It did work in my favour. So, what was the magic? How did it work? Why listen in first place? Lot of questions arise now, so let us discuss in detail.
When I started listening the immediate effect was, I saved a ton of energy at end of the day. The feeling of being energetic and not drained out was amazing in itself. Speaking consumes a lot of energy so unless you have extra, think again before consuming it all up.
I started paying attention to what others said. This not only made them feel valued, but also gained me a lot of information. I was present in the moment, alert and attentive.
Neglection turned into attention and ignorance turned into respect. Now that I listened more. I did not have time to speak, as I got busy in analysing what I heard. The captured information started turning into knowledge.
As I now spoke less often, they actually heard me when I spoke and valued what I said. The vicious cycle was already in place, before I realised what was happening. The magic was the pure joy of learning new stuff.
When we speak, we miss out a lot. For example, the perspective offered by the other person. We often overlook all the possibilities when we enforce our viewpoint. Narrow-minded ideas do not take off well. Instead listening to ideas can help us create a broader picture of the situation or topic.
Interruption kills the mood and breaks the rhythm. Definitely not cool. Listening does no harm and gets you involved with thoughts of other person.
Active listening is Art, is Science. Alternatively, I would put it as a healthy mixture of both. It sounds all fun until now. However, as the idea of listening matures, we start interpreting the world in a different way. That has a significant impact on our day-to-day experiences.
When two people meet, the one who listens more and talks less, wins. We learn from experiences of others, which can save us a lot of time. Learning, surely, is accelerated.
Now it was not about listening anymore, but I enjoyed learning as I progressed. The idea grew on me and I realised that the best way to learn is like a child. A child cannot speak or act. All it can do is listen and observe. We all have grown up the same way learning to talk our mother tongue by listening to our parents and family. Children often imitate the actions of parents. They do it by observing.
Experimenting further, I started to observe and listen. I noticed that everyone in a group is busy highlighting their own point. Nobody is actually listening. The primary idea why Twitter blew up. Founders gave their users a platform to speak their mind to millions out there. Few heard, most neglected.
With this new super-power, I was able to pick up unspoken words and observe hidden emotions. My conversations were better and relationships were improving.
I bump into people who are a ‘know-it-all’ or ‘one-up’ personality. We find them at workplace, train, shopping mall, school, and everywhere else. I say, stay away from such toxic people. They just create noise. To excel, you will have to master the skill of filtering signal from all the noise around. A rare skill to possess these days.
Give listening a break now. Time to enjoy silence. The sound of nothingness. The voice of the void. Be calm and quiet, and then you will hear the universe hum your name.
Why is it necessary to speak or listen when you are with someone? Why do we always have words to break our silence instead of enjoying the moment? We should be comfortable with others without speaking all the time. Instead of conversing, feel the presence of other person; you will be amazed to see how things evolve.
Stop filling your daily commute by plugging in earphones and feel the air around. No more political discussions over coffee, instead observe others bleed emotions. Do not take your smartphone with you on your next trip to toilet; instead enjoy the silence.
We find it embarrassing to say ‘I don’t know’ and hence, cover up with half or wrong information. So, instead of feeling insecure about not knowing, say, ‘I do not know’. I see nothing wrong in saying that. It is normal and reflects honesty. You will end up learning new something that day, that very moment.
So now, instead of blabbering away, I now listen and that is one of the secrets behind my success. Focus on active listening and enjoy the silence.