Listening in Disagreement
This is one of the topics that challenges me to do better. A long time ago I have said what I chronicle here is not how-to articles because I don't know. I question, deliberate, and ponder. I journal. I keep my creative juice flowing because I love writing and to stay on top of my game, just like any skill, I have to keep working on it. And when I sound like your next door motivational speaker, it is not as if I have acheived much but a call to myself, a reminder of much that still has to be done. When I write, I challenge myself because I am my highest critic. Straight up, I can say listening is a habit I have to improve on. Now I do listen, everyone does one way or the other but there are levels to this. It is easier to talk than to listen.
Most times when we listen, we wait for our cues to talk. We listen maybe for answers to our queations or replies to our conversation. Listening involves making out time and actively giving someone the opportunity to say what is on their minds. Listening to understand before wanting to be understood. Well, I read this one in a self-help book and it still sits well with me. Everyone has a story to tell. In a heated conversation or argument when tempers flare, it takes restraint to hold back our own views and give the other person the floor to air theirs. For me, honestly, there is a choking feeling that if what I have in my mind is not let out at that particular moment then the other person might just not get it. Guess what, most times approaching this way doesn't really solve the problem. Conversation is an art I believe. It takes discipline and practice to be better at it. I am on it. Why listening is important is that it neutralizes any hung up tension, creates a little bit of trust within context and then at a point someone who has been talking will willingly give an opportunity for you to talk and since you respected them, there is a chance they would return the favor.
I wouldn’t say I am that bad at it because I know someone who struggles with this also. This involves talking more than it does listening but both are parts of dialoging. Being patient and calm while talking, not hurrying. I say if someone doesn’t respect you enough to even give that basic listening ear, then there is no point talking at all. It’s like a yin-yang thing. Listening calmly and talking calmly. The part of listening I struggle with is when things get heated and it seems like the other person is not in for whatever I have to say. What to do? Lol. Another scenario is knowing where someone is arriving at with what they saying or trying to say and knowing that it won’t work out. I start thinking, what’s the point? Why not say something to make them understand more. This is a wrong assumption because we don’t really know for sure what someone has in mind. Good ol' etiquette requires we display diligent courtesy. Why I think this topic important is because at the end of the day, conversation rules the world. Listening and proposing might still serve as the bedrock of diplomacy which spices up civility. Peace.
Listening in disagreement. How do you feel when someone makes a decision that affects you badly without even giving you the benefit of doubt—hearing your own side of the story. At least, procedures of law, processes in courts grant that benefit. This might be overstretching it. Dialogue happens in our everyday interaction. Some avoid confrotation totally, thinking silence solves all the problems but you find out easily no one knows what you have in mind and vice versa. When there are various opinions, giving everyone a listening ear, hearing from all sides remains the best approach. Even when everything doesn't fit, what you hear might open up other doors or spark a different mindset. This is important for leaders who have to deliberate on issues and make a choice. Listening in disagreement is hard especially when everyone involved has a solid point and covering important bases. It's like a previous topic giving, exchanges, receiving; granting and getting concessions can be a starting point to that mutually acceptable consideration because in as much as listening to someone is important we also have to listen to ourselves. Talk about listening, there was this comic graphics from the 80's where a patient walked into a consultation room and the doctor started writing prescriptions without listening to what the problem is. Can you imagine that?