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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Listening is a powerful skill


Remember your recent date, meeting with your business partner or the sale you wrapped up?  Do you recall he/she pouring her heart out and telling all the good, bad and ugly things of life? If you listen to him/her intently with all your heart, mind and soul, you'd become his/her best friend.   
Communication is a two Way Street, once she realizes that you have heard her, and effortlessly let her know what you understood, it bonds you. There is nothing more powerful than listening.

There is not a soul on this earth who would not want to be understood, repeating what you just heard from the other is very effective; you don’t have to agree, but just acknowledge what she/he said, once that acknowledgement takes place, and people will fall head over heels for you, if they feel you really understood them. There are times we wreck that ideal intentionally or accidentally.

I have met a few individuals who are super good listeners...among them General Pervaz Musharraf ranks very high for his listening skills along with (I blame him for what he did to Pakistan, and sequentially to the possible relationship with India) a few other great ones.

Last night I met someone who beat Musharraf in listening test; former Congressman Ron Paul. Hell, he is a damn good listener, even though we met for 5 minutes or less, he listened to me and repeated what he understood – about Libertarianism and Pluralism. 

 I was in a press conference in 2001-2 with Musharraf in Washington Press Club - when he walked out, I was determined to have a minute with him and he gave "7" instead. My Questions were direct, “should something happen to you, do you have a backup plan?”  He told me that he has the plans – that was pure BS. Then I asked him to initiate Cricket Diplomacy - he was right, it was up to the sports clubs and not him. Now during those few minutes, his ambassador Lodhi, interrupted twice - he turned around and told her, I gave this man 7 minutes and if you interrupt, I will add that time back,  she walked away... he listened to everything I said and repeated. That is a quality we all can learn.

Listening binds you with people… it is an aphrodisiac. It is not just listening, but not allowing competing thoughts, acts and talks – those 7 minutes were solid 7 minutes of communications.  Foot ball is played in 3 hours, but net play is only for an hour making every second of that hour count.  

One of the best things I have done in my life was – to sit by Mom in my last few visits,  just sit next to her for three to four hours and listen to her.  OMG, the joy on her face made my life, and I can last through my end times with that energy.  She probably knew that I was sleeping when she was talking to me, however, my brain had figured out to keep oon, ooing as if I was listening…  Does that happen to you? Now I do the same with my sister and it is such a joy to me, I mean really listen to her and not oon oon.

I am constantly making an effort to be a good listener, and trying to see my gross and net time with the individual is the same.  I want to get it all in one shot, instead of going back and figuring out.  Way back I used to take notes, now I don’t. I want to listen and capture all of it, and don’t want my mind to wander.  At times I feel so good for being a good listener, and I wish I could score ‘A’ all the times, but have learned to live with D’s once a while.  If you are monotonic like my mother and Henry Kissinger, I am gone into the world of puffy clouds.

 Give it a shot to be a good listener, you’ll love it.

Mike Ghouse is motivational speaker and a trainer committed to building cohesive work places and societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.  Mike has been on Fox TV with Sean Hannity for over 100 shows, and equally on nationally syndicated radio talk shows. He has authored over 2500 articles and has two books on the horizon, as well as a film and a documentary in the making. His work is listed in 63 links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at TheGhouseDiary.com

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