Huh, what did you say? is my answer when my son is telling me something. Mama always advises me to listen more to my boys because she knows I am a chatterbox. The temptation to talk more is great so I made a list of 14 advantages of listening to make you and me shut up more.
- You learn more. – This is an important skill as a student, as an adult and as a parent/carer. The advice from the elders is rich with wisdom.There is information overload on the internet and with the right choices of videos on YouTube, audio on Podcasts and even the songs you listen to – GREAT IDEAS can be learned that you can apply in your life.
- You can help someone in distress just by listening. It is a way of showing one’s love. You don’t have to provide a solution to their problems. Just being there and listen can improve their well-being. It is a bonus when after the conversation, a solution may come up.
Photo by Ben White
- You are being proactive in preventing someone getting angry.
One of the things that can stir your anger is the person not listening to you.
Parent to a child: You were not listening to me!!! ( blah blah)
Child to parent: You don’t care, you are not listening to me! ( blah blah)
Partner to partner: I TOLD you about it but you were not listening to me! ( blah blah)
Boss to subordinates: I instructed you to do this but you were not listening! ( blah blah)
Subordinates to Boss: (grumble, grumble..) If only our boss will just listen! ( blah blah)
If you just paid attention in the first place, these people will not be MAD.period.
- You understand more other people.
WHY DO THEY BEHAVE THAT WAY? is the common question one is asking when you encounter persons different from you. Listening opens your mind to the reason why they speak, act, think and decide like that. You can adapt well when you run into them.
- There are fewer chances of saying something foolish.
In my lifetime, I said things better left unsaid. It was TACTLESS. Looking back, I cringe every time it crosses my mind. I couldn’t take it back.
When you listen more, it creates an opportunity to stop yourself from saying things you will regret. Your future self will thank you for that.
Photo by Abigail Keenan
- It is for your own safety.
Worst case scenario… There is a fire in the building. The staff said to go to the left side of the building.. you turned right. Holy moly.
Another worst-case scenario: The instruction was to cut the blue wire, you chose red. BOOM. The end.
- Improving your listening skills is necessary to pass an English test.
Do you need a visa or prefer to pursue higher education overseas? One of the requirements is to pass the IELTS or the International English Language Testing System. Part of the exam is the listening test. No matter how good you are in reading, writing and speaking, if you fail the listening test, you need to repeat the assessment.
Photo by Tim Gouw
- You can be efficiently assertive to get what you want.
Listening to the sales persons about the advantages and amazing deals they have to offer, you are in a position to negotiate better and grab a great bargain.
- As a leader, you can offer better service because you know what the community wants.
Listening to the needs of the community is one of the effective ways of giving the service that they will appreciate and enjoy. The provision matches the necessities of the people.
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo
- It promotes creativity.
Brainstorming in a group can trigger ideas that will create a masterpiece. As long as there are open-mindedness and respect in the group, the possibilities are endless.
Photo by Climate KIC
- It inspires you to be the BEST YOU.
Listening to inspirational or motivational audio or videos can spark something inside you to GET BETTER. Maybe, you reached the point you got tired of being in the dump both literally and metaphorically. Listening to something uplifting can change your attitude towards life in general.
Photo by Ross Findon
- It gives you the chance to THINK MORE or REFLECT.
It is quite hard to think effectively when you are blabbering at the same time. Thinking out loud can lead you into deep waters. Listening to the opinions especially during meetings can make you compare the best suggestion that makes sense. Your own beliefs may be challenged and your mind may reconsider.
You need to listen so that others will LISTEN TO YOU TOO.
Have you wondered why the people around you are not LISTENING to what you say? Maybe you are chatting, nagging, harassing or gossiping so much that you are no longer listening to them.
They got tired of your criticisms and became numb. Their reason is WHY BOTHER? Mum never listened anyway. She is always RIGHT.
Photo by Paul
- Making a habit to listen cultivates your skill in picking up the ideas NOT BEING SAID.
You know you could hear alarm bells when the person says “ I’M FINE.”
You can distinguish the feelings of the person who says “GREAT!” with a cheerful countenance compared to someone who mentions “GREAT!” but continuously mumbling and rolling their eyes.
Body language and the tone of voice are just added hints to the person’s sentiments at the moment. A know-how in listening can equip you with the right questions to ask and advice to say if they want it.
Photo by Stefan Steinbauer
To sum it up, I believe that listening is an important skill that should be taught at home and school. To impress someone in a gathering, the focus is too much on speaking… how do you come across? In fact, a listener can leave a huge impact because he/she was patient enough to make time to pay attention.
I am a work in progress in refining my talent in listening.(Note: I talk a lot.) I could already see the difference in my life when my option was to listen. There is JOY in it. I should have shut up more when I was younger.