Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Talk Less, Listen More

Words of wisdom that are circulated all over forwarded emails but how many people ponder its significance? I just got one awhile ago and thought it is a nice topic to discuss.

This is a talking generation. I cannot recall my father's generation talking as much. By talking I include the non-verbal kind like texting, emailing, chatting, blogging and facebooking. We express ourselves like we want to show off who we are and what we have, what we can do and what we want the world to know we are going to do. This is a very opinionated generation. Seems everybody has an opinion on anything (I am as guilty) and wants to express them in the name of freedom. If we add up all the words that fly out of our mind, mouth and fingers at any one time I'm sure they are many times greater than the entire human population (which is said to be touching 7 billion soon). We can't sit still, we have to talk and talk as if talking = living. Sure, some of us doesn't talk much, some not at all for various reasons (do men talk less as they get older?). Some talk for a living like show hosts, professional speakers and radio DJs. In between are people who talk to dominate their listeners without even thinking if whatever they say are absorbed or helpful. Some talk incessantly that you need a lightning second to wedge in your reply. And most humorously are conversations that sound like a monologue or verbal battle with nobody listening and everybody spewing out their views simultaneously. What a comedy!

The advice to talk less is to ask us to think carefully before words leave our lips. Our mind is like a kitchen processing our thoughts and clearing them to be discarded or queued to be spoken. Bad and hurtful thoughts that never make their way from our mind to our mouth harm no one but if carelessly delivered can cause untold miseries and misunderstanding. We are not just to talk less but more importantly to think twice. The two golden rules go hand in hand and will make anyone a good sharer and conversationalist.

What about listening? It is said that God created us with one mouth and two ears so that we spend twice the time listening than talking. How wise is that observation! Listening is both an art and a science. A person who develops an art of listening benefits from the choice words he hears, apply them in his own life and generally become a better person. He then shares the same to others to improve their lives too. Listening requires a conscious effort to dig beneath the meaning of the physical words spoken. Is there a cry for help? Is the speaker trying to send a hidden message subtly? Is he trying to influence the audience? A good listener thinks through whatever he hears and analyses them to form the proper conclusion.

If we agree to listen more and talk only when necessary, the world we live in will be quieter, lovelier and more harmonious. Let's chatter less but share words to build each other more. It is the civil thing to do.


Anonymous said...

Dear Peter,i cannot but agree with you more about your n3 this time here are some things i learned in life and i find it useful and i like to share it with you.

1)If you want to be listened to, you should put in time listening.

2)Knowing when to keep your mouth shut is invariably more important than opening it at the right time.

3)Constantly talking isn't necessarily communicating.

4)The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said.

5)One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears - by listening to them.

6)A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something.

7)Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak.

8)The most valuable of all talents... that of never using two words where one will do.

Yes Peter definately TALK LESS,LISTEN MORE

regards and GOD BLESS fr AL MAL.

Peter Yew said...

Absolutely Al. I suppose this 'disease' springs from self-centredness. If everyone is to really listen more and talk less it will be to allow the other side equal time, an expression of respect. Of course this 'equation' cannot be extrapolated towards 'Don't Talk but Listen Always' as we'll end up with the other extreme: The party who wants to be listened to becomes targeted as talking too much!! Isn't this logic illogical?


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