Values and virtues of listening

January 17, 2024by Editorial Team
Listen intently

We should make a conscious effort to be better listeners, putting aside distractions and engaging with people and information around us. The art of listening is transformative, connecting us, fostering collaboration, and propelling us forward.

What is listening

It is said, “We never learn anything with our mouth open .We can only learn by reading, listening, observing and doing “. Listening is thus the receiver’s ability to listen to the sender to be able to decode the message and develop a clear understanding of ideas or thoughts being shared. It is thus an essential soft skill and the most vital part of communication.
Listening is one of the most important communication skills. It is an essential component of effective communication. A Good listener is someone who listens carefully, attentively, and sympathetically, typically imparting support and understanding to the speaker.

The greatest of social reformers, be they Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela or Mother Teresa stood apart by their ability to truly hear and understand the needs and concerns of the people. Gandhi’s empathetic listening to the plight of Raj Kumar Shukla, the poor sharecropper from Champaran, is known to have led to the ultimately successful movement that liberated farmers from the menace of the inequitable land distribution system, championing the cause of social justice.


Why is listening important

Listening, at its core is about recognising the underlying emotions and concerns with a view to addressing the deeper issues.The importance of listening develops interpersonal relationships and encourages mutual respect and understanding. It fosters a strengthened bond and a sense of shared connection that lasts far beyond the conversation, leading to a more compassionate society.

In today’s digital age, with the constant barrage of information, it’s easy to succumb to the temptation of distraction. However, the true power of listening lies in its ability to cut through the noise and discern what truly matters. It’s a skill that cultivates mindfulness, allowing us to be present in the moment and engage authentically with the world around us.

How to listen and how not to

An effective listener needs to have a knowledge of language and understand the true meaning that stems from it. Far from simply hearing words, it is all about understanding the emotions and perspectives that weave around the words. It’s a catalyst for learning, broadening our horizons, and challenging assumptions.

Bryant. H. McGill had so rightly remarked that one of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what the other has to say.

As a good listener we should send across bodily and auditory feedback of affirmation to the speaker, maintaining a steady eye contact. Such gestures send positive vibes to the speaker encouraging him to continue speaking leading to a stimulating discussion. Further, asking questions opens up further avenues into the topic of discussion.


About the authors

The article has been contributed by the following students from Mahavir Senior Secondary School, New Delhi: Aarav Jain, Shagun Gupta, Tript Jain, Tejas Gupta, Ayaan Sachdeva and Bhavjot Singh.

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