Although the musical aspect (having a good musical ear, etc.) plays a very important role in knowing how to listen, I will skip that and focus on the general human side. Disgracefully, we have forgotten how to listen as civilization has evolved into more noisy times. Why do we need to listen? – you’d ask. Well, because when we listen properly, we understand truth, and therefore make better decisions for ourselves and others.
Listening = Hearing + Attention
As a teacher myself (Music and Fitness) or person who is there to pass on knowledge to others, I have to be a good listener. Are you one of them?
Listening means putting all our attention on what someone says and not on what we have to say about it. It means understanding, showing empathy and letting go of control. Attention is a key word here. If there is no attention, the message that’s being conveyed (be it spoken, musical, environmental, or silent) has no purpose. Think about it for a minute: someone comes to you with a problem, before they finish what they’re saying you’re already creating in your mind your opinion about what they’re saying and what you’re going to answer next. We all do that. Because we want to express ourselves seeking validation from the others. How twisted is that? if someone seeks advice or help why would we want to prove our worth? humans🙄. The first thing we need to do is to put ourselves in their skin, as they speak, absorb their energy, their feeling as they let it out, so that we can live and understand better where they’re coming from. Empathy.
Some will say that being empathetic is weak because it’s not objective and it’s going to drain you and drag you down eventually. Well, I say the opposite, if you are an empath, you are a f**in’ hero. Empaths are the strongest people, even if it may not seem so from the outside. As an empath, one spends a lot of time in introspection, observing the world. This is often seen as a negative personality, not in the sense of bad, but in the sense of not being present or in the moment, as the mind wanders a lot we are often absorbed in the past or in the future, in probabilities, hypothesis, possible outcomes and fantasizing. The world likes outgoing, ‘positive’, superficial, material, noisy people, because they make this 5-senses reality more real. It’s fine, we all have aspects of both as we go with the ebbs and flows of life. As a listener, letting go of the superficial, you are tuned into something bigger, you are rising above your personal level, and so you don’t have to spend your own energy. So know that being a loner will give you points😏.
I would say the best way to listen is in silence. Listen to the energy and to the things that aren’t said, the ‘behind’ message. I do that often when someone is shouting or being angry about something. I ignore the noise they make and listen to their breathing, their emotion behind. It is often a wound, a sorrow, insecurity or fear that triggers the barking. One has no option but being compassionate. I am not saying one has to speak to them and try to ‘heal’ them, don’t fall into that trap, that’s not going to be successful for them or for you, but just by understanding them in silence and accepting what they are about, we are already creating an energetic balance by sending them ‘peace’. If they continue to be agitated or even aggressive, just stay on your marks and withdraw. Even if they reject it or don’t want to recognise it, you will eventually mirror a better version of themselves and help them this way.
When you hear you use your ears. But when you listen you use all your senses.
Qualities of a good listener:
- Really listen, no judgements
- Have respect, humility and compassion
- Be present and with a little humour
- A sense of knowing you are a channel for a higher purpose, follow your intuition
- A sense of responsibility and authority, conducting the thread
It all stems from silence, really (related links below).
Apply this not only in your profession, but in life, and you shall be fine😊.