By T G L IYER:
Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative art for a friend who listens to us when we move forward. We want to sit in their radius. When we are listened to, it creates us, and makes us unfold and expand. Active listening is one of the highest forms of giving. Stefen Covey encourages listening with the intent to understand. Through our choice to actively listen, we enhance our awareness, generate more options and provide a foundation on which we can build relationships. Listening opens up channels of communication and shows that we value the other person. Functioning with conscious silence expands awareness. Listening provides options to resolve our differences. Consider those people who have actively listened to you in the past.
They were fully present and chose to eliminate distraction. They not only listened to your content, they understood your feelings also. They accepted you and observed rather than judged you. You felt important and valued and ended up valuing their opinion too. You continued to associate with them whenever any opportunity came. Effective listeners become highly influential too. Being understood and accepted are fundamental human needs.
Active listening provides us one of the mechanisms fulfilling this need. Listening with intent creates a reciprocal climate that also enables us to be understood in the process. In the late 1970s, President Jimmy Carter brought the leaders of Israel and Egypt together at Camp David to work out a lasting solution. Progress was slow and difficult. The leaders remained fixed in their positions. Israel wanted the land for safety and security. So long as troops are at the borders of Israel its security was threatened. The land originally belonged to Egypt and therefore it wanted it back. The negotiations could not progress. They came to a compromise because that was the best thing to do. Research shows that managers think oral communications are more important than written ones. So public speaking skills became a priority but it is still something which scares a lot of people.
Hollywood Actress Patricia Hodge once said: “Public speaking frightens me because it unmasks me.” Such fears could be overcome by observing and keeping the contents brief, and the audience could understand what you are talking about. Talking with passion, enthusiasm and excitement is another factor. If your talk is mixed with jokes at appropriate places, it is more appreciated! Many people are disappointed with their past. What you have accomplished is perhaps a mere apology for the life you expected to live and the things you believed that you would do. Some people do not seem to know how to take stock of their resources; do not know what are their assets and liabilities.
They think that they are low candle power lamps, because they have not learnt to convert low power into high voltage. The human mind is a combination of many qualities and tendencies. It consists of likes and dislikes, optimism and pessimism hatred and love, kindness and cruelty and above all, the ability to open up at the appropriate time! It is a combination of several factors that open up the individuals mind to a great extent. The dominating qualities are often determined by one’s environment and one’s own thoughts. You can convert your past failures into successes, if you will understand and apply the principles of applied Psychology.
You can get to wherever you want to go in life. You can find happiness, whenever you want to. You need not need any assistance of any person in the manipulation of your mind. Your mind is something which you control, no matter what your station in life may be. You exercise that right instead of permitting others to handle our minds. The way of success is the way of struggle. It is always better to be a listener than a profuse talker. Those who live in the present age ought to feel very fortunate because this is the most progressive and interesting age of all history. We have seen the birth of the motor car, the aeroplane, the best ships like the Titanic and many other inventions which has made our life more interesting and exciting. My teacher used to say: “The way of success is the way of struggle.
If the things you acquired or the position you attained came without struggle, you can be sure that it would not be permanent. You remember the Oak tree and the Gourd. One grew up in a decade and the other in a season. Look at great achievements. Napoleon was an Artillery Captain at the age of 23. Edgar Allan Poe was a Poet at 18. Tracy Austin won the US open Tennis Championship at 16. Alexander the Great conquered the known world at 26. One can achieve anything at a young age!