When people communicate, there are barrier and hurdles that one has to break through before actual communication happen. Otherwise, it is merely one person talking to another without the benefit of understanding and resolving issues. I’m pretty sure you’ve experienced this. And chances are it was not a remarkable experience.
Lock on and Lock Out
There are two disastrous habits of people when conversing. First, Lock On. This is when a person simply focuses on information that he/she thinks can help make her case. Sometimes, it goes as far as misquoting the person or at times totally misinterpreting the words. Second, Lock Out. In this case, the person simply blocks any information that he/she might think will weaken his/her argument. Furthermore, such behavior puts aside essential information that can help resolve issues and concerns.
This selective listening does not help resolve difference and in fact can even make it worse.
To understand others, understand the value of the pause
The value of the pause is understated in a world where one needs to be heard. So what’s the value of the Pause? Simply put, this is when one just shuts up and listens to another person. More than just listening; it is about understanding the other person. Although this seems to be counter-intuitive, this is an essential tool in effective communication.
Stephen Covey couldn’t have said it better: Seek first to understand then to be understood. The value of the Pause is discipline at its highest. During an argument, wouldn’t you rather speak up than shut up? Well, most people would rather do the talking. But communication is more than just talking; it is about understanding.
The value of the pause is often unclear to people. But once they realize its importance, great things can be expected.
Communication is a lifelong endeavor that one should learn and master. It’s not a simple task but once learned one can reap its benefits. Although hurdles abound and distort true communication and understanding, anyone who really wants to listen can do so. It is just a matter of letting one become more silent and reach out to understand others first.
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