There is a remarkable difference between hearing and listening. By the book, hearing is described as “the act of receiving sound or data by the ear.” While listening is described as “the act of being attentive to sound, hearing something with thoughtful attention, or taking note of someone or something so that you can listen and recognize what’s being said, sung, or played.” Know the art of mindful listening.
When you are paying attention to a person, you’re hearing him/her. But when you are hearing something or someone, you aren’t constantly listening. Book definitions aside, let’s check the enjoyment of listening versus the experience of hearing …
Listening calls for 100 percent focus on the individual that is talking. It’s meant to be with them in what they are saying, and taking off their words and feelings via all your senses. Listening is attentively hearing with every part of you. Think of a time you have been speaking with a friend, spouse, or therapist about any crucial scenario in your lifestyles, and when the communication was over, you felt lighter, loved, and cared for. This is in all possible due to the fact they have been with you fully. True listening isn’t always as clean because it sounds.
When you listen to something, you understand a sound, but don’t necessarily understand or check-in its meaning. Think of a knock on the door or the TV on in the background, even as you’re cooking dinner.
Why We Don’t Listen
True listening is a lot of work. After all, it calls for 100 percent of our attention, and we’re skilled to multi-task. Cooking dinner even as helping the children with homework, watching TV even as working out, and responding to emails at the same time as on the cellphone. It’s tough to focus on simply one thing at a time, and lifestyle instances don’t constantly inspire this. Often when we’re in listening mode, we’re additionally in to-do-list-mode, doing laundry, or getting equipped for the subsequent task. This doesn’t suggest we aren’t listening to what’s being stated. It is simply the method we aren’t absolutely gifted.
When we’re absolutely taking note of a person, we are maintaining space so the person can express whatever mind and emotions they want to share. We are inviting that data into our space and protecting it open for them to experience welcomed, comfortable, at calm, and in loving company.
For some people, that is natural and effortless. For others, it’s a muscle that will require to be worked, practiced, and improved.
Listening as Meditation
Meditation is a practice that trains the thoughts to recognition … and trains the thoughts, body, and emotions to be nevertheless and present with something that comes up. And it does require exercise.
Just like in sitting or lying meditation, you sit with something that comes up when you’re listening to someone … don’t forget it is a practice, too. Be with whomever you’re with—don’t simply receive the information—fully pay attention to them. Invite whatever they reply to the conversation to inspire them to open up further. Try to sense what they’re feeling, relate, and understand. This is the practice of real listening. It will help to cope up your stress.
Simple Practice: 5 Steps to Turn Listening into a Mindful Practice
Next time you discover yourself inside the function of the listener, mindful practice listening. Follow these five moves to tune into the character you are listening to and see how it feels.
- Focus on the man or woman speaking. Try to tune out different distractions—turn off your cell phone ringer, email notifications, and TV—in order to absolutely focus on the man or woman you’re talking to. Try to keep your mind targeted on the man or woman talking… much like in sitting meditation, while you observe your mind wandering, deliver it returned to the conversation.
- Be present. Nothing is worse than having to ask a person to repeat themselves while you have to have been listening. Be present completely, and tune out your mind about the past, destiny, or anything irrelevant to the verbal exchange.
- Welcome, something comes up within the moment. Whether you consider what’s being stated or now not, invite the thoughts and feelings, the individual you’re with is expressing. Welcoming the other man or woman’s words does not now mean you agree or validate, it simply means you’re there for them to specific themselves. This includes supplying facial expressions and body language that are impartial and warm. Try now not to react to what they’re saying an excessive amount of together with your voice, frame, or face. Just be with them in a loving, gift, inviting way.
- Hold your tongue. If you’re within the listener function, simply be there. There might be time as a way to percentage your thoughts, provide advice, and proportion stories. But for now, whilst they are talking, and you’re listening, simply keep the distance for them and shop your commentary for later. This may require patience.
- Learn. Take it all in and try to, in reality, recognize. Learning will need all of the above steps. If you’re now not present or focused, you can miss something, misinterpret, or misunderstand. You ought to additionally hazard that the character you’re with will be disregarded or now not heard. And you’ll possibly be requested for your opinion or invited to proportion your mind at some point … you’ll be capable of doing this with much more care if you really understand the message delivered to you.
Plus, when you learn about a person, it brings you toward them and builds a more potent connection. That’s why we speak to one another inside the first place—to connect. So why have interaction in verbal exchange if we aren’t really connecting or taking note of one another?