“Am I a good listener?” Have you ever asked yourself that question? The truth is, rather than listening to others, most of us want to be heard. Through episode 6 of the IYF Youth Talk Show, held under the theme ‘Listening’, the participants learned what it truly means to listen.
The show started out with a bang, testing the listening skills of the participants with an ice-breaker called The IYF Google Scavenger Hunt. They had to listen very carefully to hear the question in order to search for the correct answer.
We often cannot listen because we only trust what we think we know and we only accept what we have accepted.
Sophia Bryan, Youth Ambassador to the Commonwealth, was the guest panelist for the session. The discussion with her was very enlightening and had a lasting impression on the youths. She shared that listening is very important in a professional setting. It is not just simply hearing the words coming from someone else’s mouth; but it is being able to understand the context within which the person is sharing and responding in an emotionally intelligent way, while making space for the other person.
The Guest Speaker, Mr. Noel Esty, Senior Manager and Mind Education Specialist in the International Youth Fellowship, gave a very profound presentation. We could realize that listening well is not a natural skill. It has to be learned deliberately. We often cannot listen because we only trust what we think we know and we only accept what we have accepted. When we put down these biases, deny the impulse to be right and listen to the other person’s heart – not just their words, then we can start to listen to others. Listening is important in developing and maintaining relationships with our family members, friends, teachers, co-workers and ultimately God.
We hope you learned a little bit more about listening by reading this post. Always remember that as much as it is important that we express our opinions, it is equally important to listen with the intention of hearing and understanding the other person’s side.