We focus on listening as a manifestation of the sense of sound. Listening is making an effort to hear something. Although listening is a skill that we develop from childhood (if we are blessed with the ability to hear.) http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/ Can you say you are a good listener?
Once asking someone in my camp if they would listen better I had to ask myself how good of a listener am I? If I answered honestly I would have to say not a great listener always. It turns out we only hear 25-50% of what is being said in a conversation!
Throughout my life I chose not to listen to authority over and over again which was my way of “getting back” at people telling me what to do, how to do it, when, where and how much. In reflection, I feel that was an unfortunate shortcoming in some regards. My feelings or emotions affected my listening and how I viewed what people were saying to me. You can do a lot of damage to yourself and others by determining what people are saying, how and why without really paying close attention to their every word. Now, I must watch out that I do not fall back into a bad habit. When is the last time you observed and questioned how good of an anything you are?
How would one become a better listener if you desired to do so? We could practice “active listening” which would keep you engaged and improve your comprehension about the things that are being said in a conversation. If we try and understand what the person is saying and not just the words. Paying attention is a huge part of this process. You must ward off being distracted, buying into emotions, forming your own counter words before the other person is done speaking to you if you want to be an effective listener. If you observe your behavior in these situations and find this is part of your listening pattern then you must try to change your behavior. Changing your behavior comes from observation, understanding and new behavior patterns.
In yoga, we try to use meditation and breath to clear the mind so we are more open and able to “hear” what people are saying to us. A clear mind is able to hear more because it is not cluttered with their own thoughts and perceptions. This is basic and fundamental to begin open and accurate communication with those in your life.
Besides, listening is one of those gifts we forget to be grateful for in our life. Just imagine how tough the world would be without the sense of hearing.
The benefits of good listening are:
Higher level f success and achievements
Improved job effectiveness
Increasing your productivity
Yoga Exercises to create Listening Awareness:
Stick your index fingers in your ear & make circles forward (9x) & then reverse the direction of the circle. Close your eyes & listen to the sound you are making with your own body. It sounds like the ocean.
Be aware of the sense of sound as you breath into your rotations.
Rub your hands together & make heat or healing energy in your palms. Place that energy close to (without touching) your ears & breath into transferring that energy to the ears through your breathing, vibration and intention. (Practice this 1-3 minutes)
Can be used on other body parts.
It is time for me to do some listening exercises…
* Some of the information in this post comes from: Mind Tools, Essential skills for an excellent career