Listen then talk

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By Nirmla Motoomull

Glimpses

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


THIS is necessary especially when we have a crucial matter to be done.
First of all, listen carefully.

Secondly, talk clear, exact and precise.

And thirdly, act accordingly.

This procedure looks so simple step by step yet so difficult to follow and apply.

To avoid more conflict among spouses, families, friends and enemies, we need to understand why conflict happens.

We are distracted, tired or both.

You are thinking about a problem you have. I start talking to you.

You nod “OK” but did you really hear what I said? Likely not.

We make assumptions. This has been called a damaging form of “mind reading.”

You assume that there is a hidden message behind your friend’s words, when in fact you may be reading too much in the situation.

We look for solutions prematurely. My mind is racing to find a solution.

As a result, I will probably miss some or all of what you are saying.

But there must be a right way to handle our conflict amidst distractions, tiredness and so forth.

We give our complete attention. I have something important to say, but are you ready to listen?

Perhaps not. Your mind may be on other things just now.

If so, do not pretend to listen.

If possible, put aside what you are doing and give me your full attention, or perhaps you could ask me to wait until you are able to do so.

Agree to speak one at a time. When it is my turn to listen, I resist the urge to interrupt or disagree.

I will get my turn to speak. For now, I just listen.

Ask relevant questions. This will make you better able to understand what I am saying.

I appreciate it when you ask relevant questions. It shows like me, you are interested to solve our conflict.

Listen for the message, not just the words. Note what is conveyed by body language, eye movement and tone of voice.

“That is fine” might really mean “That is not fine” – depending on how it is said.

“You never offer to help me” might really mean “I feel I am not important to you.”

Try to get the real message, even if it is not spoken.
Otherwise, you may end up debating over what was said instead of focusing on what was meant.

Give genuine consideration to what you are saying.

This takes a measure of maturity, but it pays off.”

Be sincerely interested in one another.

Active listening is, not a mere technique, but an act of goodness which is love’s most attractive face.

For easy reference, please refer to my write-up on active listening, November 23, 2011 issue.

When you have genuine interest in what I am saying, listening becomes natural.

In this way, we will be following the Bible’s admonition: Look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own.”

And always of importance in our dealings with peoplee in all walks of life, we use the KISS principle which means keep it simple short.

[E-mail dr.nirmla_motoomull@yahoo.com]

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 26, 2014.

Lifestyle

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