Last post I talked about a different way to verbalize one's opinions and needs in a more effective manner, to enhance communication. This post is about completing the communication process, by listening.
Communication is, by definition, a give and take of ideas and needs. Too often when we discuss something, we state our views, then mark time thinking of what we will say next, instead of truly listening to what the other person has to say. How many times have you been in a group conversation when everyone is so avid about what they want to say that the whole conversation turns into a shouting match?
We all have something to say, but without the patience to listen, communication breaks down into your average day on "The View". Between everyone thinking they are right, and the mental clutter going on when you are not talking, it is a wonder anyone can learn anything.
Nobody learns anything by talking -- only by listening. All wise people have one thing in common: they are good listeners. Perhaps that is why they are wise; they have mastered the art of listening.
I have another great book for you to check out (I feel like Oprah). It's called, "The Zen of Listening" by Rebecca Z. Shafir. Ms. Shafir goes into detail how one can become a good listener. By mastering the art of listening you open the door to learning, and you open the door to better relationships. This is true for any relationship -- your spouse, your child, your boss, your employee, etc.
As important as it is to express yourself, it is more important to receive what the other person has to say. Only then can you work things out. Only then can you learn and grow together.