Stigma Of The Listening Heart

Stigma Of The Listening Heart

About two years ago I was attending a leadership conferencein Dallas, Texas. The objective of theconference was to inform independent marketing team leaders and salesrepresentatives of a global corporation about new promotional concepts aboutexisting and new products and additionally enhance the knowledge of capacitiesof both. There was a considerablydiverse assembly present; leaders from across the continent had flown hours tobe in attendance for the weekend event.Consistent with the protocol of any similar function, the conferencefeatured workshops, networking arenas and speakers’ forum in a marqueeauditorium with a capacity to hold thousands of people. The final speaker of the event was amiddle-aged gentleman with a seemingly unrivaled swagger about him. The message he carried was compelling, hisprocess was thorough and carefully crafted to appeal to the masses, and his charismaticgrace on stage along with the other aforementioned elements of his routine hadgrasped the assembly in an unrivaled manner in which I had never seenbefore. He commanded the focus of theentire room with his dictates and the fashion in which he got them across as ifthe forum in its entirety was in a hypnotic state of listening and theirabsorbing his message would grant them a pardon from an execution. {{more}} It wasfascinating how he was able to captivate such an abundant and diversearrangement and I patiently waited after the event concluded to speak to himindividually and possibly just hear a few words from him in a personallydirected momentum. This I was unable todo because of such a large crowd, however I did get close enough to a small groupthat encircled him and prior to his departure an older and considerablydecorated and well-known leader of the convention asked the gentleman where hehad received his degree from. “Barnes‘and Noble’s” was his reply. For theunfamiliar, ‘Barnes’ and Noble’s’ was a large franchise bookstore especiallypopular in big city settings. Thespeaker’s implication was that he had done an extensive amount of reading, andin essence: listening. Ancientphilosophers argued that the most basic of all human needs is the need tounderstand and be understood. Pointgiven, the most effective way to understand people is to listen to them. The spectrum is lengthy, wide and differentas to how one can listen. The kids inthe cinema watching a blockbuster, the team in the locker room hearing thedispatches of the coach before the homecoming game, the fifth-year medicalstudent reading a journal about the effects of seaweed extracts in diabeticsand the silent prayer and meditation in the midst of sunset in the seminary’sgardens: all are forms of listening. Webster may have a separate definition but upon deepexamination and analysis listening is understanding filtered through the voice,the pen, the picture, or the silence.Furthermore, in a social era fueled by power seeking and close-mindedvigilance that pays homage only to the idol of control; if we would just relaxand listen we’d have enough energy to conquer any situation life presents uswith. This idea is founded on thegrounds that seeking understanding by constant questioning driven by worry andthen exhausted through time spent in a spiral of doubt or surge for one’s ownperspective to be made relevant is only anxious extravagance. Alternatively, if we have trust, not seekunderstanding, but have trust, insomething greater than ourselves, then all and more will be revealed throughthe stigma of the listening heart.History itself compliments this directive. The world’s most decorated and respectedleaders have spent achieved their monument in listening first, and guidinglater. Woodrow Wilson affirms, “The earof the leader must ring with the voice of the people”. Many experience great deals of bewildermentand frustration when they are unable to effectively communicate to groups orindividuals. The reason being is thatthe inability to communicate is a result of failure to listen effectively.