6. Aug, 2021

Don’t just hear, Listen

I know it is hard to take feedback. Whether it is critical or constructive, it is still a hard thing to take on. Our ego is against us in this respect, but also when we pride ourselves on something and then someone comes to us and tells us a better way to do it. Sometimes it hurts deep down because we know they are right, yet we cannot allow our ego or pride to take the blow. Accept that it will be awkward to begin with, and that taking feedback is an uncomfortable activity. It is hard to find people who enjoy feedback.

I am a professional in my own rights and I have got feedback from people who I would believe are less qualified to make judgement calls, yet when I come to think about what they said, they were spot on. Why though did I resist their interpretations? Because of my pride and ego, I used it to block their opinion as I thought I was superior. How many opportunities do you think you might have missed with the same sort of situation? I reckon there would be countless times where you could have learnt more yet you didn’t take the opportunity as a lesson learnt approach.

When you hear what someone says, you are also able to just discount it or hear it and let it slide out the other ear with ease. There is so much information we hear in a day that it is no wonder so much of what we hear we forget. But when you take the time to listen to someone, you will absorb so much more out of the conversation. There are many techniques on how to listen to someone, and I am sure you can find what works best for you. It obviously depends on your care for the conversation.

The below are some factors to consider:
1)     Body Language – learn to understand your own body language, when someone has given you a ‘suggestion’ consider your own body language, if you present dismissive facial expressions, or you cross your arms with a marked response to what they have said. You might find that they can already sense your inattention to their comments.

If you close your body language down during the conversation or even at the start, you will find that the person will see this either consciously or subconsciously and as such they might hesitate to give you the raw data behind what they are telling you. It is important to understand the whole situation and details and not just a part of it.

Sometimes people do give feedback because of jealousy, but I would like to think that the majority of people do so out of that sharing nature we humans have within ourselves, it's not always coming from a critical standpoint.