Last Updated 28 Jan 2021

Mastering listening

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There are five basic senses that human beings have in order to perceive society and in order to interact with one’s surroundings.  The sense of touch is often the way to feel what an object is like.  The sense of sight is the manner by which human beings perceive their environment.  The sense of smell is another way of getting acquainted with the world because it allows one to get a whiff of the air in one’s environment.  Another sense is that of taste which allows man to savor the delicacies that are available in the world.  Finally, and perhaps the most underrated of all senses, the sense of hearing by which a person can hear about what goes on in the world.

The sense of touch is a great gift because with it a person can feel what objects are like and it allows people to differentiate between textures and feels.  The sense of smell is another wonderful gift because it allows people to have an olfactory experience that introduces man to the many scents of nature.  The sense of sight is also very useful for without it a lot of what man has right now would never have been invented.

The sense of taste is also an amazing gift because it allows people to taste the wonderful foods that are available in the world.  While all of these senses have their own advantages, it is only the sense of hearing that allows a person to know how another person is feeling.  It is the only sense that allows a person to find out what is happening in another part of the world.  It can actually see farther than our eyes and allow us to know accurately what goes on in other places.

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The gift of hearing and the skill of listening is a talent that many people disregard or take for granted.  Not many people realize that the way to find the window into the soul of another is not through any of the other senses except the sense of hearing.  By listening to another person and allowing that person to bare his or her soul, one can learn so much more about another and arrive at a better, deeper and more complete understanding of who the person really is.

The intricacies of the soul are revealed when one actually listens to another.  It has been established at this point that the sense of hearing is actually a very important sense as it is the main way by which a person can listen to another.  The next question that must be addressed is the relevancy of listening as a skill.

All the senses of the human body are designed to do one thing, receive input that the brain will eventually process.  The listening, as a manner of exercising the sense of hearing, is a manner by which a person is able to gain input with regard to his surroundings and more importantly other people.  People communicate mainly through speech.

While there are some traits, feelings, emotions and thoughts that can be conveyed through other means, the primary mode of communicating still remains to be through speech and the only way of understanding speech is by listening.  Communication is the method by which people interact with others.  It involves not only an exchange of ideas but also involves a certain degree of trust or confidence.  That is the reason why listening is so relevant because it allows people to communicate with each other.  Speaking is but one part of the communication process.  The other part is listening.

There is certainly no doubt that listening is a skill that many people are capable of doing but is sadly something that not everyone does.  While most humans are equipped with the sense of hearing, there are still those who can hear but cannot listen.  They may be able to hear every single word that has been said to them but they cannot always be considered as listening.  The next question that must be asked is how one can actually listen or become a better listener.

Listening is not simply nodding one’s head and hearing what another person is saying but requires that a person actually pay careful attention to the words of another.  It requires that the listener to do more than just absorb whatever the speaker has to say but in certain instances requires that the listener react in such a way as to encourage the speaker to bring out more.  Listening is a way of reassuring the speaker that there is somebody for him to talk to who listens to him.  It is a way of communicating various feelings to another person without the use of words.

In order to become a good listener or to develop one’s listening skills, it is not important that the person is genuinely interested in the other or what the other has to say since the purpose of communication and listening is indeed to come to a better understanding of another person.  The thing that is required in order to develop good listening skills is in being able to know when to simply just “shut up and listen.”  There is a certain timing that is needed in listening because listening may often be confused with boredom or disinterest by certain people.  One has to know when to simply just nod one’s head or smile instead of opening one’s mouth to say something.  This is the most important step at becoming a good listener.

It is hard to imagine a world where nobody actually listened or paid any attention to other people.  It would probably be a sad world filled with the endless monologue from the unending conversations of people who have nobody to listen to them.  The people of the world would arguably be much sadder too since there would be nobody to listen to their problems or help them vent their frustrations.

It is not hard to see just how important the skill of listening is.  It is also thankfully not hard to become a better listener.  The next time somebody says something, try not to respond right away.  Think, learn and feel first and by doing do listening to what the other has to say.  If man had learned this skill earlier, think of all the wars and bloodshed that mankind could have avoided by simply listening to what the other had to say.

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