The Art of Articulate Listening:


male-friendship-e1525114774298

One day, a young graduate student visited a wise retired professor with intent to get some wisdom about his career path. Upon arrival at the retired professor’s home, the later, offered the student, a cup of tea. Shortly after, the young student started talking about his studies, what he knew, who he wanted to be after graduate school, the books he had read—to mention but a few. The professor listened attentively without interruption until the end of their appointment.

As the student left he asked the professor, “Sir, how come you didn’t give me any wisdom?”  “Your cup is too full to take in any more wisdom. If you wanted to learn from me you would have emptied your cup before you got here. You would have given me a chance to speak and then listened to what I had to say.” Responded the professor.

The morale of the story is the basis of this article. We tend to speak more than we listen. We judge others before we know about them or what they have to say. Consequently, we block our minds from listening and start figuring out how we shall respond when they are done speaking. With such mindset, we miss out on the wealth of information that they might have to offer.

Why We Don’t Listen

In order to understand the art of articulate listening I believe it is important to examine why we don’t listen.  Following are a few reasons why we don’t listen.

~ We Don’t Believe in Ourselves.

When you don’t believe in yourself you will always compensate by trying to outshine others. You will find it urgent to prove to others that you are better than them. Yet in actuality, you are only trying to prove to yourself that you are better than what you believe yourself to be. As such, you interrupt others as they speak or stay in your head to figure out something smart to respond.

~ When we are Hurting on the Inside:

When we are hurting we don’t have the patience to listen to others. We are so busy in our heads dwelling on what went wrong. We are absentminded.

~ When we are Selfish

Selfishness is a sign of fear. When we are so afraid of not having enough, not having more, or not having what we want, we tend to be self-centered. We become greedy and want more of everything for ourselves. We seek for attention and don’t want to give any. Fear prompts us to ignore other people’s needs, needs such as listening.

~ Habit/programming:

If we grew up in environments where people didn’t listen to one another, we developed the conviction that that’s the way communication is. As adults, our behavior projects our programming, i.e. not listening for this case. For the most part, with such upbringing we don’t know any better. We simply don’t know how to listen.

~Unconscious Bias.

When we are unconsciously biased or have prevailing beliefs about someone who is holding a conversation on a particular subject, we automatically disregard their message because we believe otherwise. For instance, it’s commonly believed that women are not the best car mechanics. So, if a woman starts telling you about how to solve a car problem, you will automatically block your mind from listening attentively to what they are saying.

~ Other reasons why we don’t listen could be related to; anger, low self-esteem, or mental clutter–which gets us overwhelmed and not present.

When we don’t listen we miss out on learning or simply experiencing something different or new from the person speaking. We fail to know more about the people we deal with and as such, we are always surprised or shocked about their behavior. Furthermore, the lack of listening reflects on one’s mindset and self-worth. Note that as within so without. So, if one doesn’t know or appreciate the benefits of listening articulately to others it is evident that they don’t listen to themselves. They don’t understand or simply refuse to understand the value of listening to oneself, and hence to others.

How to Listen Articulately

~ Empty your mind of all judgment and information that you might know about the person speaking. Be open-minded.  

Listen with your heart, you will understand.” — Pocahontas

~ Be 100% present, in the current moment and avoid thinking about anything else other than what the person is saying.

Listening means taking as second to consider what they’re saying, not just hearing their words. ~ Anonymous

~ Repeat what they are saying often, or ask questions to reinforce their message such that they know that you are listening.

~ Maintain a soft gaze as you look in their eyes, and a pleasant/soft smile if the conversation is pleasant. Note that you don’t have to smile if someone is telling you about a death. 🙂

~ Node your head often, but too much, to let them know that you are listening.

Listening is such a simple act. It requires us to be present, and that takes practice, but we don’t have to do anything else. We don’t have to advise, or coach, or sound wise. We just have to be willing to sit there and listen. ~Margaret J. Wheatley

~ Take notes if necessary, and read a summary of your notes to them after they are done speaking.

~ Use terms such as, “Tell me more,” to encourage them to tell you more.

When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new. ~ Dalai Lama

 ~ Ask them if they are done speaking before interjecting with your comments. It is also advisable to respond with the positives in their message or what you agree with before you share your perceived negatives.

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence. ~Robert Frost

 ~ Observe their body language so that you understand what they mean beyond their words.

Listening has the quality of the wizard’s alchemy. It has the power to melt armor and to produce beauty in the midst of hatred. ~ Brian Muldoon

Articulate listening has many benefits including, but not limited to the following:

Good listeners create great relationships; people tend to trust them more. A good listener is a present person who will rarely miss out on what’s happening in the moment. A good listener is also a people-person because everyone wants to be around someone who will listen to them.

In the corporate and business worlds, articulate listening is a powerful communication tool for the art of persuasion to work. When we listen we get to learn about what makes people tick, what they want, and how they want it and then design our messages in a way that triggers their actions, which then benefit us.

The book below contains excellent content on the subjects of communication and the art of persuasion. Check it out.

Looking for inspirational books to keep you inspired and empowered during these holidays, check out the books below.

 

Advertisements

7 Budgeting Mistakes to Avoid


budgeting

Budgeting is crucial to efficient and effective financial management. When we don’t budget, we end up either squandering money or missing out on paying for important and/or time sensitive transactions.

Note that the lack of budgeting is the very reason why the poor remain poor–because they don’t take time to think about what they want and research on how much it will cost.

The question is, how will you know what to spend your money on if you don’t budget? Remember that there is more to living than paying bills. Therefore, take control of your finances and establish budgeting as a mandatory act.

Below are 7 budgeting mistakes to avoid.

7-Common-Budgeting-Mistakes-Pin-740x461

Mistake 1:

When you don’t stick to your savings plan, or when you don’t have a savings plan. In order to achieve financial freedom putting away money as savings to either invest or fall back on in hard times, should be part of the game plan. If you don’t budget for your savings, you are basically rendering yourself vulnerable for financial disaster.

Mistake 2:

When you don’t update your budget plan:

It’s important to update your spending plan so that you are aware of what’s going on periodically. Get a note book, or download an app on your phone (www.everyDollar.com is a good one)) and use these tools to periodically update your budget.

Mistake 3:

When you underestimate or overestimate how much you spend: To avoid this mistake evaluate your previous month’s expenses to use as reference for your spending patterns.

Mistake 4:

When you don’t have a budget: When you don’t have a budget how will you know much to save or what to spend on?

Mistake 5:

When you don’t communicate with your spouse or people in your household about your budget standards: This applies if you have a family. You need to let your spouse know about your budgeting plans so that they spend within its limits.

Mistake 6:

When you only budget once in a while: You have to be consistent with your budget plans. It is an ongoing process, and the good news is that it gets easier with time.

Mistake 7:

Lack of budgeting before your payday: Getting money before you create a spending plan can be dangerous.  Note that by the time you create the plan, half the money will be gone on expenses that can not wait for you to decide whether you need a budget or not.

Note that budgeting is a healthy financial habit that you should embrace. Doing it right will make all the difference, and having a success infused mindset is the starting point.

budgeting_websites

Looking to get more organized with your life and finances, check out my book, Do Not Force It, Tap The Good

Tap The Good

Dr. Jacinta Mpalyenkana, PHD, MBA is a counselor, transformational coach, corporate trainer, published author and professional speaker. For more about her, please check out http://www.tapthegood.com

Do our Lives Need to Be Coached?


Limiting beliefs

The Dalai Lama once said, “the purpose of our lives is to be happy:” and for me that is the real benefit of coaching. What happiness actually means is unique to each and every one of us and more and more people are turning to a Life Coach to help them discover a great deal more happiness in their life.

The benefits you will gain from coaching include but are not limited to;

success-coach

  • Clarity about what you want, why you want it and how you can get it.

  • Bridging the gap between where you are now and where you want to be.

  • Strategies and techniques which facilitate you to reach your goal faster.

  • Overcome obstacles, low confidence and insecurities.

  • Explore and evaluate all possible options available.

  • Dedicated time, support, encouragement and motivation.

Remember, Life Coaching is an investment in yourself and it will benefit your entire life.

What I have done is made it financially affordable for those who want to access the benefits of life/business coaching but can not afford it.

Check out my limited time only offer on Groupon on this link https://www.groupon.com/deals/tap-the-good-counseling-and-success-coaching-services

Remember, nothings happens if nothing moves. You have to MOVE. 🙂

Love and Light

Dr. Jacinta Mpalyenkana, Ph.D., MBA

Author, Speaker, Counselor / Success Coach

http://www.tapthegood.com

Groupon link – https://www.groupon.com/deals/tap-the-good-counseling-and-success-coaching-services