If we are millennials, right from our childhood, we’ve been told to express ourselves, to bring out our inner thoughts, and to explain ourselves more readily and unashamedly. There is even an American proverb which resonates with this: ‘The squeaky wheel gets the grease’. This explains why in this noisy world, much thought is given to how, when and why we should talk. But one of the most underrated qualities given significantly less thought to is that of being a good listener.
Many of the failures in the workplace are generally accounted to tasks being misheard or misunderstood initially, and that happens because of our eagerness to complete the task before first understanding it. We are often quicker to speak or act than to listen.
Listening teaches us, it gives us wisdom, or in other words, it helps us grow. Listening is not just about being quiet in a conversation, but rather keenly understanding what is being expressed with an open mind and without any prejudices. In the Bible, James, a disciple of Jesus, writes in a letter to his fellow-disciples, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” So, let us put in the effort to train our focus and energy on listening well first; this will help us in becoming better responders.