One day I called my student – Tom to read a written report. He began reading within himself. I told him to read aloud so that I could hear. Then he started reading the report aloud by jumping a few words. Then I told him not to rush up while reading but to read slowly and steadily to interpret the report. In fact, I wanted to teach him how to read because most of the people read within themselves, and they don’t know their mistakes. But when they read aloud, it is audible to others and to them so that they can recognize their mistakes and correct themselves. Subsequently I told him the importance of reading skills, and the tools and techniques to read effectively. However, he interrupted me thrice. I advised him to listen carefully first so that he won’t miss the important information. In fact, when someone interrupts the conversation often it means s/he is not a good listener. François de La Rochefoucauld rightly said, “We never listen when we are eager to speak.” There is an inner noise in every human being that disrupts listening. In some people the inner noise is more aggressive resulting in poor listening. Sometimes listeners also guess what the speaker says and don’t listen to the entire information. And some people may not listen as they think that they know everything. Finally, there are egoistic people who don’t listen at all to others when they are clouded with excessive egoism. Therefore, there are a number of reasons that are responsible for poor listening.
Finally, I told Tom as follows: If you read well you interpret well, and if you listen well you understand well. Both reading and listening are two of the four pillars of communication - the two others being speaking and writing. Hence, acquire competency in the four areas of speaking, listening, writing, and reading skills to excel as a successful professional.
"If speaking is silver, then listening is gold."— Turkish Proverb
Founder, MSR Leadership Consultants, India
Born for the Students
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