Many skills decide on whether our relationships are good or bad. Many researchers point to the simplest listening skill that allows excellent relationships with others. The essence of listening is highly related to free will because to listen you have to direct your attention to the other person, and it is not easy to control attention. When we were describing the levels of happiness, the animal happiness is concentrated on the “objects of desire”. In the second level, we are focused on ourselves only, and in the third level, we are focused on others. But such a switch of attention is not an easy one. If participative companies are person-oriented, their members also have to be person-oriented, and listening is the simplest skill to be learned if they do not know it already. We may wonder why we should bother about this skill. The problem is, that we often do not realize what good listening is. Of course, the best solution would be to ask your interlocutors whether you are a good listener (you can always do it). But you can also use questionnaires like the one you find below. It encourages reflection and gives you feedback on three important elements of listening:
- Sensing. Being actively involved when others are speaking. Taking into account not only the meaning of words but also nonverbal and contextual information. Being sensitive to emotional needs of the other person.
- Processing. Remembering what is being said. Asking for clarification in case of any doubt. Integrating what is said into a sensible whole.
- Responding. Asking questions or paraphrasing, and using nods or facial expressions of emotions which are evoked when someone is speaking.
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