By Dr Renita Dsouza
Listening is different from hearing. Listening is hearing and understanding information received. According to Roland Barthes “Hearing is a physiological phenomenon; listening is a psychological act. Listening is the part of skillful communication. Effective listening is a learned skill. A good listener can understand what other person is saying or wants to say through his words, tone of voice, body posture and gestures. So listening is not only matter of ears but also the eyes.
Listening does not mean obeying. Listening is understanding the information received and then making a choice.
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Benefits of improving listening skills
- Improves language learning
- Helps to have effective communication
- Avoid conflicts due to misunderstandings
- Avoid confusion
- Listening to others is the best gift we give to them. It makes them feel valued, accepted, respected and understood
- Encourages other people to express themselves more openly and honestly
Tips to improve listening skills
- Listen without judging and analyzing
- Listen without interrupting and correcting
- Listen with empathy. Try to put yourself into other persons shoes and see their world as they see it.
- Listen attentively. Keep away the source of distractions.
- Listen and understand the feelings behind the words.
- Listen with your ears, eyes and most important with your heart. Along with hearing, try to understand non-verbal signals by observing facial expressions, body language, tone of voice and body postures.
- Listen with patience and do not jump into conclusion without evaluating
- Listen without probing and avoid giving advice.
- Remember what speaker said and para phrase it. This shows that you are interested and speaker comes to know that you understood what he is saying.
- Ask open-ended questions that encourages the speaker to open up more.
- Adopt open posture – sit or stand facing the speaker at comfortable distance, maintain eye contact and lean towards the speaker occasionally.
- Remain calm and relaxed.
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Ayurveda Concept Of Listening
In Sanskrit ‘shrut’ means listening. Listening plays a important role from obtaining the knowledge up to the diagnosis of the disease.
Importance of Listening in Gaining Knowledge
To gain the knowledge, listening is the important skill that every student has to develop to understand and remember the concept. There are 3 sources of knowledge –
Aaptopadesha – authoritative instruction, preaching’s of saints
Pratyaksham – direct observation and
Anumana – inference
Among these 3 sources, listening skills of students plays important role in gaining knowledge through Aaptopadesha. Aaptha refers to ideal and inspiring teacher. Upadesh refers to teachings. The teachings or instructions given by ideal teachers are known as Aaptopadesha.
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Importance of Listening in Treatment
Listening is the priceless gift we can give to the patient. Active listening to the complaints will make the patient feel understood and heard. This will greatly help the patient get relieved from stress, grief, fear etc or any physical illness such as pain, stiffness caused due to mild phycological problems.
Importance of Listening in Diagnosis of Disease
Listening to various sounds in the body helps to diagnose the disease. Such as
– gurgling sound in the intestine
– cracking sound in the joints
– Voice tone of the patient
– Coughing, Hiccup and other respiratory sounds