Cultivating the habit of good listening


One must listen rightly, cautiously, effectively, intelligently, unpretentiously and calmly. If you want to be a good listener you have to cultivate the habit of effective listening. Those who are good at communication know the importance of listening, which is perhaps more significant than even speaking.

It is not an exaggeration to say that relationships thrive more on listening skills than on speaking. A good speaker may sometimes find himself out of place in a group, but a good listener seldom finds himself in such a situation.

Efforts can be made to improve the listening habits by following practices

1. To make listening, a regular habit you ought to start from somewhere. Start from today and from now on dedicate at least an hour to listening only
2. During this one-hour do nothing but listen with all your attention and application. Listen to the sounds and the words as they come to you in their unmodified state.

3. Listen without the intervention of any thoughts, without any agitation in your mind. Enjoy the pristine beauty and the syllables of the sounds

4. Concentrate on one sound or many sounds or on all sounds that comes to you at a time. Listen to them in the milieu of the background in which they arise.

5. Listen to the distant sounds that are almost inaudible but can be heard only by dint of effort. Listen to the faintest of the sounds such ticking of a watch, movement of wind, the rustling of the grass or for that matter your own breathing. At the end of this exercise, listening should have become an integral part of your system.

6. Try to replay in your mind the various sounds that you hear every day. Try to replay a particular piece of music or song that interests you. Try to recreate mentally the sounds of nature.

Can you recollect the sounds exactly the way they are? Can you recollect various sounds at one swoop? Can you play an entire orchestra mentally in our mind? Keep practicing till you can say confidently “yes� to these questions confidently.

A mind that is fully vigilant, alert and liberated from all cares and worries is most conducive to effective listening. If you want to allow the words of others to enter your mind freely, you must cultivate a free and undistributed mind and an unassuming personality.

Pay more attention to others, their thoughts and words than to yourself and to your own thoughts and words as you listen. Rid that egotistic attitude.

We conclude it is in our eagerness to make an impression and communicate our thoughts to others that we tend to forget the true act of listening. To become a good listener we must learn to keep ourselves in the background. It is only through humility that we can reach out to others. Empathy and rapport are the two wires through which you can connect yourself with the rest of the humanity.

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  • Nehanamya

    grt idea,while reading your article only i realized that in the silence of my room also i could hear atleast 5 distant sounds.thanx