Yes, you're hearing, but are you really listening to me?
Being a good listener doesn't come naturally to many, especially not to the I-know-it-all kind of personality.
By Vicky Kapur (From the Executive Editor's desk)
Published: Tue 29 Jan 2019, 7:00 PM
Last updated: Tue 29 Jan 2019, 9:29 PM
We've all been there. Pouring our hearts out to someone - at the workplace or elsewhere - only to realise after a while that even as the person seems to be nodding their head in ostensible agreement with whatever we have to say, they're not really 'listening'. Being a good listener doesn't come naturally to many, especially not to the I-know-it-all kind of personality (and there's at least one such person in every workplace) who'd probably offer you advice without you even finishing off your gripe or grievance. These are the kind of co-workers or friends who you may call a little narcissistic - they'd want to quickly finish off with your grumbles and then move on to their own.
Then there's the too-busy-to-pay-attention kind of person, who won't even look at you while you're talking and continue hammering away at the keyboard or scanning through a document but might momentarily raise their head to ask an unrelated question. There's also the one with attention deficit, who'd start intently but lose interest in seven seconds or less, and then stare at you with dopey eyes. And then there's the judgemental one (my favourite type), who'll dismiss your argument or claim without so much as a hint of debate. Once they've made up their mind about a counterargument, this person would have stopped listening fairly early on, and be only waiting for a chance to present their perspective.
There are several other characters, but the point here is that there are very few people who'd actually care to listen to what others have to say. These are the people who'll find time no matter what, show respect to others and will be respected in turn. These are the real leaders, ones who don't only understand the challenges facing the people and the organisation, but also know what the solutions to those challenges are. You know how? They don't just hear people out, they listen!