The Laws of Listening

by Dr. James Pierce

Communication is very important to human society and relationships. Without communication, our lives would be incomplete. Relationships suffer when communication breaks down. Most people look at communication as a one way street. Meaning they emphasize the delivery side of communication, not the receiving size. They want to be heard more than they want to listen. Yet listening completes the process of communication, making it a two way street. I believe when we improve our listening skills, we benefit from what we hear. There are rules or laws that govern productive listening that will improve your communication and effectiveness with others to benefit your life in a positive way. Listening is more than hearing sound, it’s hearing with intentions of understanding. First, let’s talk about how to listen with the intent of learning.

How to Listen to Learn

  • 1. Listen To The Right People.

    Having the right listening skills is counter-productive when you’re listening to the wrong people. You could be learning a lot of the wrong information. I can’t tell you who to listen to, that would depend on the context of what you want to learn. But the best way to evaluate who you listen to is by their fruit of their life.

  • 2. Listen To The details.

    When you pay attention to details when listening you will be a more effective communicator. This is so important when you’re given instructions to follow. You’ll make less mistakes and get better results. Remember, small details make a big difference.

  • 3. Listen Without Rebuttal.

    This is difficult for people who want to verbalize their opinion quickly. Do everything you can to hear the whole matter first. Think about what was said. Seek to understand and necessarily agree with or approve. The other person will feel acknowledged. Remember, you can’t hear with your “BUT” in the way. Just listen!

  • 4. Listen To Know The Context.

    When listening, always stay within the context of the conversation. Truth out of context is still flawed. Usually the speaker sets the context of the conversation so stick with their context. It’ll make what they say more relevant.

In our next report we will continue on this subject. There’s a lot more to be said but you’ll have to wait until next time. But I’m sure these 4 points will help you become a better listener. Try them out this week and see the difference in the response you get.