What is being said
Look at What is Being Said, Not Who is Saying It
– Imam Ali
This is not always the easiest one – to look at life in a completely objective way. In fact sometimes the very purpose of listening to something being said is because of the person saying it. It depends strongly on my feelings about the person – If I like him/her, I would listen intently to what they are saying and then think genuinely about it. If it is a person I don’t care much for, then the tendency is to ignore and shut them off from the conversation or maybe just pretend nodding my head just to ensure that I am not being rude.
But then, there is always that tiny bit of bias in it. For a long time, I have consciously ignored when I was talking to a person who I did not have a great rapport with. I didn’t even see if what they were saying made sense or not. As I moved along, I realised that the tendency was to be surrounded by a bunch of yes men who would very rarely counter me lest that I start treating them the same way and neglect what they said. Instead, they realised it was lesser effort to end the conversation sooner than not being appreciated for their honest thoughts. So, it kinda started being a double edged sword resulting in minimal gain for me.
What is being said – Active Listening
I think there is something very strong about active listening. The idea of objectivity says that it is incredibly foolish to ignore something just because of my predisposed emotions about the person saying it. If I were to go by that, I would be a blind follower of the people I like, with limited attention to my own thoughts even. This is one reason to actually talk to people who oppose us –
- It gives us an opportunity to reassess what our thoughts are. The act of defending our thoughts makes us realise how strongly we feel about them
- It gives us an opportunity to objectively think about these thoughts and take a better informed decision about them. Although there is a slight negative bias, it atleast is good feedback when people give us a different news than expected.
What is being said: The Comfort Zone
But life would certainly be easier if we just stick to our comfort zone and avoid the uneasy conversations. That is a simple thing to do, but of course at a consequence and the cost of losing out on our long term objectives. Sometimes, I guess it just boils down to the long term approach and the sacrifice of the short term unease to get there. And for that to happen, we might have to sacrifice a bit of our ego, open ourselves a little bit more, intently listen to everything we say and finally take a decision as to what to do about it.
In other words, the idea is to focus really on what is being said rather than being completely biased by the face associated with the words. Sometimes, all we need is a fair and reasonable opinion.
These were our thoughts on the quote – Listen to what is being said than who is saying it. But please do share us your views, we would love to look at a different dimension to understand the true meaning of the quote and your thoughts on it will be invaluable for that.
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