One of the most important keys for having a happy life is to have healthy and happy relationships.
Relationships are part of our daily life and can certainly influence our “happy level”. To have healthy and happy relationships we need a good communication and a good communication doesn’t only mean talking, but also listening and in this post I am going to underline the importance of listening and its benefits, give my suggestions on how we can improve our listening skills and I will also mention some Motivational Listening quotes from famous and successful people.
As relationships, I mean all kind of relationships, work relationships, family relationships, relationships with friends and of course even sentimental relationships which I wrote a post about it: How to be happy in a sentimental relationship.
What is Listening?
Listening is an active process that require we pay full attention and focus on what we are listening to, we need to be conscious and fully aware on what is going on without any distractions.
Listening is not the same as hearing. We can hear someone talking, we can hear a song, but not paying full attention to the words because we are doing something else, we are not really listening, we are just hearing.
Why? Because we divide our attention into two, or sometimes, even more things. The result can’t be the same as we were just listening, doing only one thing at the time and concentrate on it.
This principle (do one thing at the time, concentrate and do it well) is valid for everything in life and basically is the principle of mindfulness. You might like to read my post on mindfulness: Mindfulness can help us to live a happier life.
I know we live in a multitask era and this is one of the reasons why there are so many stressed and unhappy people. We are so used to do so many things at the same time and as a result of that, we might lose contact with the reality because we live in a kind of autopilot mode, which lead having a poor concentration, a “buzzing mind” and consequently, we get stressed out very easily.
Even if, we are not doing anything physical when someone is talking to us, but we are just thinking of something else, we can easily miss what the person is trying to say to us. We might have a good idea of what he or she is talking about, but we can easily misinterpret the main point because we were not paying 100 % attention. And this can lead to problems…
When someone is talking to you, listen carefully to what this person has got to say to you!
“Doing anything else while listening isn’t fully listening at all”
Benefits of Listening
The benefit for effective listening are quite a few, but personally there are two main benefits:
# 1 Listening can help us avoid problems due to misunderstanding and poor communication. We need to remember that a happy life is a string of happy moments, so if we can avoid not pleasant moments, the happy level of our life can definitely improve.
#2 Listening can help us be successful in what we are doing. Any kind of success creates a good feeling, therefore, is good for our happiness.
Happiness is empowered by good and positive emotions.
#3 Listening also expands our knowledge, reduces mistakes and misunderstandings, helps best solve problems.
# 4 When we listen with full attention, we are communicating respect.
# 5 Listening increases likeability, people like people who listen.
# 6 Listening creates a feeling of goodwill in intimate and professional relationships.
# 7 Making listening a habit will you good than with speaking words. It’s when we listen that we truly become wiser. Wisdom is the ultimate reward we reap for a lifetime of listening.
# 8 Good conversations often come from listening well.
# 9 The people who are likely to have many friends and companions are those who excel at listening. If your friends are real, they will not hesitate to listen to you.
# 10 Success can be gained by talking but listening offers far better, excellence. Great individuals are shaped and honed with the ability to listen to others.
# 11 Listening can let us be shaped into far better individuals. No leader in the history of mankind has had not listened to someone in his lifetime.
# 12 Relationships stand firm through the storm not by talking but by listening. Successful and fruitful relationships are brought about by the power of listening to one another.
When you listen, do it for the sake of understanding and not just to build a reply. Conflicts get fueled when people only listen to burst out their emotions than to seek wisdom.
Benefits of Listening in the workplace:
Good listening skills can make an employee more competent and capable, reducing risks of misunderstanding and mistakes that could be very damaging to the business. We gain more information and can be very helpful in our professional life as well as personal life.
For an employer, manager: good listening skills help detect and solve problems quickly, enhances motivation and encouragement, confers respect and trust.
Tips on Effective Listening
Face the person that is speaking and maintain eye contact, it is less likely you get distracted.
Be attentive, but relaxed. Avoid being tense, tension can affect your concentration.
Listen without judging the other person, so keep an open mind.
Don’t interrupt, if there is something that is not clear, wait for the person to pause to ask clarifying questions.
Some Listening Quotes from famous and successful people
“I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.” Larry King
“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” Bryant H. McGill. Listening perfectly portrays the sincerest of respect.
“The first duty of love is to listen.” Paul Tillich
“Change happens by listening and then starting a dialogue with the people who are doing something you don’t believe is right.” Jane Goodall
“Listening is a positive act: you have to put yourself out to do it.” David Hockney
“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” Ernest Hemingway
“Any problem, big or small, within a family, always seems to start with bad communication. Someone isn’t listening.” Emma Thompson
“The art of effective listening is essential to clear communication, and clear communication is necessary to management success.” James Cash Penney
“Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.” Bernard Baruch
“The reason why we were given a pair of ears and just one tongue is so we could listen more than we could talk”. This quote definitely gives us the big picture of Listening.
Here I am at the end of this post on effective listening.
So Can Effective Listening improve the happiness of our life?
My answer is definitely yes! A happy life is a string of happy moments, the more happy moments we live, the happier we are and effective listening, as we have seen, not only have many benefits to improve the quality of our life but also can help us to avoid not pleasant moments, therefore the happy level of our life can definitely improve.