Listening

Listening

Old English hlysnan “to listen, hear”, “attend to”, “obey”.

To learn from our mistakes and those of others, it is necessary not only to have developed the ability to listen to others but also to ourselves.
Listening is the ability to receive and accurately interpret messages in the communication process; it is the key to effective communication, as well as a skill at the base of all positive human relationships.

It is not a passive process: it requires focus and an effort concentrated on the messages communicated, avoiding distractions and preconceptions, but also empathic participation. Often the primary concern when listening is to work out ways to respond, to argue, or to verbally punish.
Knowing how to listen means paying attention to the content of the communication, how it is communicated, the use of language, the tone of voice and how body language is used by the other person to express themselves. In other words, it means being aware of both verbal and non-verbal messages. If the speaker is expressing an unshared point of view, a question, a concern or a doubt, the tendency will be to stop active listening and therefore participation and there will be no empathic understanding.

Instead, to build a healthy culture of error, it is necessary to acquire full and accurate understanding of the speaker’s point of view and evaluate it critically, developing an altruistic approach; to develop good ability to observe the non-verbal cues that accompany what is said to enhance understanding; to encourage the speaker to communicate fully, openly and honestly.

Good predisposition to active listening favours greater sharing of information and may prevent repetition of the same mistakes or prevent any failures.