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Jun 13

There’s Value in being a Good Listener

being a good listener

We all appreciate the value of a good listener

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
― Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Have you ever experienced having a conversation with someone whose attention is somewhere else?  They’re either texting or they maybe looking straight at you but their minds are obviously somewhere else.  This is one of my pet peeves and I’m sure, most of you find this annoying too.  It’s not only annoying, it’s also disrespectful.

We all appreciate a good listener that’s why we have friends and families who we tell stories with and vent out frustrations to because we know that unlike other people, they will take the time to listen and actually care to understand what we’re trying to tell them.

Listening is a skill that we’ve been trying to develop since we were kids.  Remember how our teachers from as early as preschool would always check if we’re listening to the lessons being tackled in class?  Listening starts with us providing our undivided attention to whatever is being said from the advice from our parents, the lessons from school, the Sunday mass sermon, or the new employee orientation.  Being a good listener helps us absorb whatever information is being transmitted by a speaker and it is very important because good listening leads to better understanding.

Listening is part of our daily lives and it can affect our lives in a big way because this is one of the ways we acquire information.  Information that turns to ideas and ideas that later on turn to beliefs which may dictate the way we live.  There’s a lot of positive things we can gain from being a good listener and below are some of them.

 

Knowledge

Being a good listener helps you obtain information quite easily.  We can learn a lot from the people around us if we take the time to listen.  This is especially true for people who has achieved a certain amount of success like our managers, mentors and industry leaders who are generous enough to share their experiences and knowledge.  We can also learn from our own parents, family and friends regarding their life journeys.

I had a previous article on the benefits of dinner table conversation which is the best avenue to learn from the people we love because our voices are heard and we get good advice and guidance in return.

 

Friends

People who take time to listen to others gain more friends.  I consider myself a friendly person and most of the time, I gain new friends through meaningful conversations.  Whenever I’m new to a certain group or someone new joins my group, I immediately hit it off with the person who I can exchange ideas with.  By listening to what that person has to say and seeing him or her listening to what I have to say as well, it produces a mutual sense of comfort that tells me that I can always turn to this guy or girl because we “dig” each other.

You can attract people if they know that you’re fun and engaging to be with and that you’re not always about yourself every time.  People love to be heard as much as they would love to listen.

 

Trust

Knowing that you’re always there to listen to their problems and become a sponge who absorbs all of their frustrations make you gain people’s trust.  People won’t hesitate to open up to you because they know that they can depend on you and that you’re all ears to whatever they have to say and probably appreciate your advice too.

 

Respect

I am a firm believer in the saying “Respect begets respect” and a good listener wouldn’t have hard time gaining it.  Listening to a person and giving them your undivided attention means you respect them enough for them to return the favor.  Just like what the opening quote in this article mentioned, it’s not so much the listening part that matters but the intention for listening.

 

Good Relationships

Being a good listener can bring you better relationships because you’re never too selfish when it comes to attention.  You do not dominate the conversation and you give others the needed “airtime”.  Relationships are two-way streets and it works better when both parties involved get to speak their mind instead of one always hugging the spotlight.

 

Perspective

Sometimes we think we know everything there is to know about something until we hear it from other people using a different spin on that subject.  Listening to people make us learn their views and perspectives about a common topic that we may not have seen or realized before.

I have never been a fan or someone who would stop and listen to an evangelist.  Whenever I see one of them speaking in front of a large audience on TV, I immediately switch channels but all these changed when I heard one of Joel Osteen’s podcasts.

Joel is an evangelist but unlike the conventional ones who shout at the top of their lungs and hulk out in anger while discussing a bible verse, he speaks in a soft, calm voice and he doesn’t spell out a lot of verses.  He also adds humor to his sermons that made them more engaging.  I never thought I would be one to listen to such if you asked me around 2 years ago.

 

Appreciation

Your constant presence and readiness to listen whenever they need you is more than enough for people to make you feel appreciated.  For people to seek you out for advice when they have a several friends who can do the same for them is a really big privilege.  We all have our own go-to-guys when it comes to venting out and advice-seeking and these are special people because we value them above others.

 

Being a good listener is something we ought to practice.  By giving our time and attention to people who need them, we gain something more precious and in fact, priceless just like the things mentioned above.  One of the keys to happiness is to seek out people in need and help them fulfill that need and sometimes all they need is for someone to listen to what they have to say.

Question: What have you gained from being a good listener?

I would like to hear your thoughts by sharing your comments about this topic below.

 

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Noel Rosos

About Noel Rosos

Noel is a husband, father, author, performance coach and self-proclaimed FAILUROLOGIST who helps business owners and struggling individuals convert their failures into opportunities through inspiring blog posts, life-changing books and exceptional one-on-one coaching sessions

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