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The Art of Listening
Dr. Shehzad Saleem

The key to good speech is listening. If a person is a good listener, his response will be very apt. He will be able to hit the nail on the head and present the most lucid opinions.

We must train ourselves to be good listeners. The key to good listening is patience and restraining our immediate reaction. We must absorb the words of the person who is speaking and try to get its gist. Not only will we be in a better position to respond but also might gain sound knowledge and retain it in our minds.

An effective way to be a good listener is to verbally repeat our own understanding of what someone has said. The speaker will then have a chance to either ratify our understanding or amend it. Accuracy can thus be ensured. Once this is done, we can proceed to reply.

One of the bad habits that plagues us is that we are more interested in immediately responding to a conversation without even realizing that we have missed the point. Many a time a conversation consumes needless time because we do not address the points already raised and show more zeal in presenting our own view. Such an attitude not only makes us ineffective participants of a conversation but also deprives us of valuable knowledge.

Another bad habit in this regard is that we frequently interrupt a person’s conversation in eagerness to blurt out our own view. We must patiently wait for the other person to finish his conversation and speak only when it is our turn.

A good listener is also a person who hears criticism on him with full attention. Only then can he really benefit from the constructive part in it. Needless to say that a good listener is always liked by people because people want someone to play this role. Such a person becomes endeared to his brethren and of course, it is an indispensable quality for people who are in positions of leadership!


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