The Chinese Symbol For Listening

BY RW WILDE

With the Chinese New Year fast approaching I thought that it would be a good time to share with you the Chinese Symbol for Listening.

You may already be aware that Chinese symbols often combine a number of symbols to create a single word.

What is interesting for me are the symbols chosen to represent listening.

For those of you who don’t speak Chinese the symbol for listening is made up of 6 other words.

You, Eyes, Undivided Attention, Heart, King & Ear

Combined these words describe what is commonly described in the English language as Active Listening.

You: When others are talking you as the listener play an equal role  for the communication to be effective. If you are not playing your part the message may be confused or lost.

Eyes: Listen with your eyes. Maintain eye contact as you listen, observe the physiology and body language of the speaker. You will pick up on so much more that is being communicated as you become more observant and interested in the speaker.

Undivided Attention: Give the speaker your undivided attention. Don’t become distracted by other people or by technology.

Heart: Listen with your heart, be open to their opinion and their logic even if it differs from yours.  Take time to understand their view point before responding.

King: Treat the speaker like royalty.  Imagine that they are the most important person in the world and give them the respect and attention that they deserve.

Ear: Finally listen with your ear. Take time to listen to the exact words, phrases and tone of the communication.

Great leaders understand the importance of listening. Dr Stephen R Covey talks about this in his book the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People as he explores the importance of seeking to understand before being understood. 

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1 Comment

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