what are the detrimental effects of poor listening skills in our lives?

Poor listening can significantly affect profit level in businesses or companies; it can lead to arguments in the workplace, poor productivity, unmotivated employees, lawsuits, communication breakdown, assumptions and misunderstanding.   A lot of companies lose millions or thousands of naira due to huge errors, ineffective decision making or costly mistakes made by employee/employer/managers/MDs.

A typical example is when instructions are spelt out clearly to employees in staff meetings or normal work mode and they make huge errors because of poor listening skills …..Like a waitress in a restaurant is taking an order from one of the customers and gets the order wrong, the customer gets angry and leaves or the order will have to be redone, it is a loss of business, waste of time and money which will end up eating into the company’s profit.

When managers/MDs and bosses don’t take care to listen and pay attention they miss out on crucial information.

When employees don’t feel they are being listened to, they never take ownership of the projects they are doing, because they believe that any new idea they bring to the table is never taken on board or even considered… this results in low staff morale, hurt feelings, loss of team spirit, trust, initiatives are never taken and employee just look forward to their paycheck without making a valuable impact or contribution to their company.

When we know people are not listening, we feel undervalued, less important, unappreciated, unheard.   It affects our wellbeing, increases our stress level and we start developing complex issues. Imagine having a conversation with someone and they change the topic or pretend they are listening and we know they are not. Just imagine how it feels, we feel hurt and become resentful.

Not being listened to in a relationship opens up a whole can of worms like: conflict, instability and misunderstanding because of lack of clarification which leads to assumption, in the long run communication is compromised drastically.  If you are always quick to solve issues without allowing your partner to let off steam when they have a problem it can inhibit your spouse to effectively solve issues on their own this can encourage unhealthy dependency on the listener and breeds co-dependency relationships.  When you are not listened to… stress and worries are not shared and this can be a big burden on the relationship…. Remember the old wives tale a burden shared is a burden halved.   Temptation… Infidelity is another one to watch out for when you are not listened to… you feel unloved and tend to look out to someone who will listen to you and the tendency of having an affair is great.

When a child’s feelings and thoughts are not validated by his/her parents, she may begin to believe that they are uninterested in what he/she has to say and feel.    A child will also feel a lack of support and find it difficult to communicate to the parents when certain issues are happening to them like bullying, sexual, verbal, abuse etc… Because the child is not listened to these issues are swept under the carpet, it affects their childhood and can graduate into something drastic as adults.

We could avoid a lot of pitfalls, mistakes, heartaches, headaches etc.  If only we listen to our intuition, but because we are not taught to listen… it’s so hard to listen to our gut feelings without interrupting and analysing whether it’s a figment of our imagination or some negative energy… When we turn off our chattering over analytical mind … we tune in to the still small voice within us without interrupting, we learn to listen to our intuition which serves as a map/GPS to our destiny and daily lives it takes practise and time to listen to our intuition I believe it is our guardian angel on this earth plane. For a moment we should try and think of a time we ignored or listened to our intuition what were the consequences or benefits?

Our body talks to us all the time when it is hungry, full, wants to sleep, feeling burnt out, but most of us have transferred these bad listening skills to our very own body…the temple I call it… typical examples, we hardly listen when reach satiety point when we are eating as result we overeat and get fat and suffer from all obesity related diseases.  Also when we are burnt out from stress by living an unbalanced life our body talks to us to slow down by giving us signals, but we   ignore the cues our body is giving us as a result we end up being too stressed, our immune system is reduced, affects people around us because we are on edge all the time..  The funny thing is that not listening to our bodies can cause our death due to stress or obesity related diseases.

Attentive listening is reflected in Good grades on report cards, successful job interviews, and rewarding friendships, profitable business, successful marriages, well rounded kids and finally a society who cares.   watch out for the finale of this series…  ways to become a better listener.