Updated: Oct 20, 2021
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF LISTENING
I was about 21 when I learned this important lesson. I will never forget it.
From them I began to understand the difference between merely HEARING, and actively LISTENING.
As a small boy I was interested in sales, so I got a job at a life insurance company, Mutual Life. My manager, in one of our training sessions, taught us the psychology of listening.
He reminded us that as we prospect for new clients, we would meet people who have had a bad experience with insurance. Some might even become very expressive based on the disappointment or hurt experienced. He taught us how to turn a "no" into a "yes".
He explained that whenever people are venting their disappointment or frustration, the emotion is so strong that it creates a blockage that is impenetrable. At that point, nothing that you say will resonate with them. Your effort to try to de-escalate them by talking will only re-ignite a flaming heart.
Your only alternative to have that emotional blockage cleared or removed is to allow them to talk. In fact, you not only allow them to talk, but you encourage them to talk. By expressing themselves, they release that pent-up emotion, hence creating a vacuum in their heart.
With that vacuum created, they now possess the capacity to receive what you have to say. It is then, and only then you have the right to speak. This is always true when dealing with humans. I like to tell the men in my audience that whenever their wife is upset and ready to talk, they must be ready to listen, and if they should interrupt her it must be with the words, "Tell me more".
Herein lies the psychology of listening.
(James 1:19- “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath" (KJV).
Failure to listen before we speak is a shame and disgrace:
Proverbs 18:13 "He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him" (KJV) Proverbs 18:13 —
To answer before listening is foolish and shameful. ( New International Reader’s Version) Proverbs 18:13 —The one who gives an answer before he listens this is foolishness and disgrace for him. (The Holman Christian Standard Bible -HCSB)
- Lloyd Allen