…….. It was last summer during my August holidays
when I agreed to meet my old friend Sia, after two
We arranged to come together that evening at our
old cafe/bar we used to meet some years ago.
After our initial small talk, I started noticing that
she was not the happy person I used to know those
“ What’s wrong with you? What is happening? “
I asked her.
“ I’ve some troubles at home lately, that’s causing
me a lot of distress ” she replied feeling very concerned.
At that moment I realised that she wanted to talk
to me about her problem;
so I decided to be a good friend and listener for her.
I just relaxed, emptied my mind for a while and sat
there quietly, showing my interest while she was
expressing her difficulty; showing her my interest
without interrupting or advising in any way.
I did feel good and proud of myself, because I knew
I helped her not only to feel better but also to understand,
appreciate and accept her exact situation ……..
” Listen to many, speak to a few “
William Shakespeare 1564 – 1616
Lend An Ear
Listen means to hear by paying close attention
to somebody or something;
by focusing on without being distracted by external
or internal causes;
by giving all your concentration to whoever is
talking to you at the time;
and this should be done with your family, your
friends as well as various authorities.
Unfortunately, very few people know how to
Of course, this is only a matter of education — because
they have never been taught the art of listening.
Consequently, the majority of people are always
eager, impatient and selfish enough to keep on
talking ad nauseam.
Also on the one hand, we have our today’s frustrating
world with its high technological developments and
its high demands and numerous distractions;
and on the other, people being fully preoccupied, totally
absorbed and obsessed with themselves needing to
execute their own plans and ideas at all times.
Certainly a great number of people have this
know-it-all attitude, and do not want to hear other
people’s opinions and thoughts;
which obviously is absolutely wrong, because we all
continue to learn with the passing of time from
The final result from all these, is that people keep on
speaking continuously all together at the same time,
(we can see this annoying thing everyday on the TV)
without anyone understanding what the other says,
or what exactly is the situation.
Listening is a very important and vital skill you
must learn in order to be successful in your personal
and professional life.
This is a conscious action you need to take if you
actually want to enjoy all the benefits:
a) Functional Benefits
By being a good listener you will be successful in
your career, and you will excel in your studies.
It will be so, because you will understand and
absorb exactly what you are told, and perform
your duties correctly.
b) Individual Benefits
By listening to others you will learn very many new
things and experience other knowledge.
As a result, you will think about all this new information
this will help you grow as a person, be more confident,
solve problems more easily, as well as making better,
cautious, rational and more wise decisions.
c) Relationship Benefits
When you listen to other people showing your
interest and respect for what they say, you make
them feel important, honoured and flattered.
Also, you will be able to avoid and misjudgements,
mistakes, arguments, and fights.
As a consequence, all your relationships and
connections will flourish and become more
Hang On Words
” Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak;
courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen “
Winston Churchill 1874 – 1965
Develop the following habits in order to become
a good and effective listener:
a) Keep the eye contact, watch the other person’s
body language, and pay attention to their tone of
voice when they speak, at all times.
b) Keep all distractions away; and this includes,
your own mind, mobile, computer, TV, radio, etc.
c) Listen fully and completely without interrupting,
or changing the subject, or giving any solutions, or
talking about yourself.
d) Follow the other person closely by reflecting back
everything they express, communicate and show.
e) Repeat back what you have heard from them, in
order to confirm your full understanding of the situation.
f) Sit in silence and just listen; respond only when
the other person has finished talking — and only after
you have left a few seconds to pass.
g) Before you respond to anything, think carefully
what you want to say, so that your response is a
valuable, beneficial and useful one.
h) When listening, be curious to learn without
pretending; and always keep an open mind.
i) Always be aware of your own personal emotions
as well as the other person’s, in order to have a
better interaction and communication.
j) Ask significant, appropriate and unrestricted
questions to encourage a good solution.
k) Be concerned, caring, interested, attentive,
enthusiastic and understanding by using your own
The Know – How
” I like to listen.
I have learned a great deal from listening carefully.
Most people never listen “
Ernest Hemingway 1899 – 1961
Recognise that you should never judge what you
Obviously, you do not have to accept what the other
person is saying; you just need to be considerate.
Being a good and efficient listener is a skill;
and as such, it needs to be practised.
So, reduce your talking and start reading body
This way you will improve your personal and
professional life greatly.
Stop hearing passively and start listening actively,
involving your mind, heart and body.
” Silence is a source of great strength “
Lao Tzu 6th/5th Century BCE – 531 BCE
Listen Well !!