Being a Listener

I am (still) reading Dale Carnegie’s book on How to Win Friends and Influence People. Time has really constrained my choices of reading, as well as the time being spent on it. I have just finished another interesting chapter written by him, ‘an easy way to become a good conversationalist’. As much as other chapters have been written, this chapter also captures the same pattern of writing. It is a more of sharing on how such aspiration is of daily experiences through stories of many people.

Humans, its nature is wanted to be heard, by anyone, by someone closer, by important figures, and some others. Such condition is expected more especially in times of desperate, and frustration. As Carnegie says it, what they want is only an attentive listener, with no interference, no other side story but his or hers. Indeed, that is the nature of US human, is it not? We love to talk about ourselves, what we have done, what we have achieved, and the list goes on.

But, in order for us to achieve a higher and more important role in society, we ought to let go such wanting of being heard and put ourselves in the shoes of those listeners. It might turn out that the attention you have given others would reward you in a better place, conditions, and feeling. Not that we should expect those in returns, but it would come to us due to our sincerity and honesty. More of these stories can be read in Carnegie’s book.

It is actually proven that the attention we provide others, the ears we lend them, is an asset to many great things. Being a psychologist requires you to have this skill of listening attentively. Failure of doing so, may cause you not to be able to engage your clients deeply, hence causing them not to be open to tell all the problems they are experiencing. Being a manager also requires the same skill and failure of doing so, may contribute to the low performance of your subordinates in their jobs.

What more if you are calling people to Allah. Indeed, listening is the skill every dai’e needs to master. Sometimes we only want to deliver what is right for them without allowing them to speak for themselves. For instance, some may judge that this person is ‘bad’, hence is taken lightly and is given no importance, but probably that person has problems that he or she needs someone to talk to. Being an attentive listener could bridge you to that person’s heart, hence able to win him or her on our side. What may lose in conversation is sincerity and honesty. Carnegie quotes, one may not pay attention when he or she is thinking of what to be said next. Why not, we allow the conversation to develop itself, and let the flow leads you into your conversation, hence making it natural. What more important is listening.

Some ways you may motivate the person to talk more of him or herself, or of the problems they have are; pay attention, show your genuine interest, be emphatic, inquire more if you really do not know, look in to their eyes, give ‘short’ responds (e.g. ‘hmm’, ‘ahuh’, ‘I see’), avoid interruptions and many more. I believe the more you are engage in the conversation, the more experience you will gain in tackling people.

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we write from our hearts so we may reach yours, as we endure the life full of challenges, and we choose the Quran and Sunnah as our guidance to live the life

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