Importance Rules Of ‘Listening’- (Part 2)

Mayur Kalbag is a Leadership Coach, Corporate Trainer & Author who regularly does corporate training in Fiji. He can be contacted via email:   In the previous column we
27 Oct 2018 10:00
Importance Rules Of ‘Listening’- (Part 2)
One of the most important objectives or goals of listening is not to just reply but to acquire a clear understanding of what the communicator is trying to convey

Mayur Kalbag is a Leadership Coach, Corporate Trainer & Author who regularly does corporate training in Fiji. He can be contacted via email:


In the previous column we had looked at the important role of listening within the subject of effective communication.

In this column I wish to share some of the rules we must passionately follow in order to make the process of listening extremely positive and progressive for us. Let us begin exploring each of these Rules of Listening.

Listening to ‘understand’- There is nice and relevant proverb about listening which is, listen to understand; listen not to reply.

One of the most important objectives or goals of listening is not to just reply but to acquire a clear understanding of what the communicator is trying to convey.

I have personally seen lots of people not having the attitude to listen and understand the entire content of communication and due to this they end up making a wrong or different interpretation of what the communicator is saying.

All I say is that we must follow the first rule of listening which is to develop the positive attitude to listen and while listening to keep checking whether you have acquired a clear understanding or not.

If not, then it is also important express your doubts and seek clarifications from the communicator or presenter.

Don’t jump to conclusions half-way-

Another rule we must follow is to not get tempted to assume, half way through the listening process, that we have understood the entire content of the communication.

Yes! This happens a lot many times.

I have seen people, half-way through the listening process saying to the communicator, “I think I have got your point” or “I know what you mean to say”, and they say this while the communicator is still making his or her point to the listener.

This attitude to assume that you have got the clear understanding even before the entire content has been communicated can and has led to an incorrect inference or understanding by the listener.

How can we stop this? The answer is a simple word, control.

Try to control your attitude to assume that you have already understood what the communicator is trying to say even before he or she has completed his or her point.

Listen…with a Pen and Pad-

I remember seeing two of my junior colleagues walking into a meeting without a pen and pad.

When I asked them why aren’t they carrying a pen and a writing pad their response seemed very dispassionate and casual.

“Sir, it is just a weekly regular meeting. I can remember the main points for sure” One of them said tome with a subtle smell of arrogance.

After the meeting I called them to my cabin and asked them to share with me the ‘main points’. I could see both of them becoming extremely nervous and that is because they had forgotten most of the main points.

“If you have sat through the weekly meeting for an hour and a half and do not remember most of the things that were discussed then don’t you think that your presence in the meeting was highly non-productive?”

They obviously had no convincing response to my question.

It is vital to understand that when you attend any meeting or even a training seminar it is important to use a pen and a writing pad.

The reason for this is that when you listen and then upon finding certain points interesting and relevant, you make the motivated effort to write them down, you will always be able to refer to the written points either during the meeting or even after the meeting.

Also you must remember that making notes while listening to the communicator also reflects your genuine respect to that person.

The communicator will also feel motivated and positive at seeing you make the effort to write or note relevant points on the pages of your writing pad.

Body Posture & Body Language while listening-

The responsibility to main a positive and an assertive Body Posture does not lie only with the communicator or presenter but as importantly lies with the listener too.

I have come across listeners who stretch their legs to almost make it look like they are sleeping on the chair.

There also those whose body posture is crouched and extremely casual.

This kind of uninspiring body posture reflects a negative and also a non-attentive body language.

So how should our body posture be especially as listeners?

To start with, we must sit with our backs straight.

We must also avoid stretching our legs.

While listening we must acknowledge that we are understanding the content of the communicator with steady head movements. Another important aspect is to avoid ‘yawning’.

A lot of listeners, especially during meetings or training sessions after lunch, start yawning.

There are some who get extremely drowsy and are unable to even keep their eyes open and all this happens while the meeting or the training is going on.

To be honest, even though such things could be natural fallouts of a heavy lunch, we still must maintain the highest levels of attentiveness &andconcenration through the entire process of communication or presentation.

Develop the confidence to ask questions or express doubts & disagreements-

In one of the meetings my boss addressed all.

“I have just made my presentation about the new product and its launch. Are you all clear?

In case you have any questions or queries please ask” two managers expressed their desire for some clarifications and the boss answered them respectively. “Anyone else?”

The boss again asked, but this time everyone was quiet.

Then, after the meeting got over and everyone left the conference room one of my colleagues came up to me.

“Hey Mayur, the product that our boss was speaking about has at least three faults.

Apart from that how can we launch this product in this very month?

He said to me with concern. “Why did you not share all this and offer your doubts during the meeting and especially when the boss asked us to speak up?

To this question my colleague had no answer.

I am sure he must have felt nervous to share his views and ask his questions in front of the large group that was present during the meeting.

All I wish to say is that an effective and positive listener is the one who gathers all the confidence or courage and expresses his or her questions or doubts fearlessly with the aim of acquiring complete clarity and conviction.

Finally, I wish to say that in the entire process of communication or presentation the role of listening is as important as the role or speaking!


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