BREAKING NEWS: The Art Of Listening In A Conversation

The Art Of Listening In A Conversation

Everyone talks. Everyone communicates. People talk in their own words, deeds, physical expressions or sign language. As long as a person is still breathing, they have the ability to talk.

But as people are talking; who exactly is listening? Because people are now more of talkers themselves rather than listeners. I have listened to some conversations where a colleague is busy narrating their ordeal; but suddenly someone cuts them midway and begins talking about their own “similar” yesteryear experience. The whole conversation then shifts to the latter while leaving the story of the former hanging by a thread. Who knows why he was talking in the first place? Maybe he needs urgent assistance? Maybe he is contemplating suicide after emptying his story? Why not give him a chance to finish talking, digest the full narrative and give him an informed response before moving to another story?

People need the room to express themselves enough. They need you to hear their stories in their original circular and longitudinal nature. The world has lost many people who were trying to communicate without anyone listening. There are many graves of victims who were never given an ear in their battle-cries. There are also many graves of casualties who never listened when someone was busy communicating of impending danger. They were found unprepared and got stuck in the mud of death!

The greatest tragedy born out of “not-listening” are wrong perceptions and conclusions! People have rushed to conclude that an iguana is the same as a young alligator. They have rushed to conclude that all deaths are equal, despite the circumstances. People have concluded in their mindsets, that the same principles that apply when running a canteen are the same used to run a multi-national corporation like Coca-Cola. People have deceived themselves by not taking time to listen and understand, before making their conclusions.

The Bible gives us words of wisdom concerning listening:

“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath”James 1:19.

“Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days”Proverbs 19:20.

Let us all endeavour to be great listeners while others are talking. By so doing, you may change someone’s life forever.

Tapiwa Zuze –


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