Monday, July 03, 2006

Listen!

"No, you're not listening!"

These words are the most repeated words by a very respcted professor in his classes. With a flowing set of credentials and a with a sense of humor to match his wits, his classes are the most crowded amongst all. His methodology of taking classes inlcudes using the case model - implying we discuss a case study inthe class and through the discussion, learn a lot more than what we would have, had it been lectured upon.

And among the chatoic "participation" from the class, he would continuously embarrass you. With a very verbose and a jargon filled answer, you would think you have scored a brownie point. This would be responded by a sharp look from the prof and a resounding "So?"

So? yeah right, So what? Everyone would look at you smiling telling you in unsaid words that you have were better off closing your mouth and let others suspect you were a fool, than open it and confirm it! Another smartie would then start off who would be waived to silence by the prof still looking at you..

"So?" "What are you trying to tell me?"

You realize that he is actually wanting to listen to you. Understand you. And that adds suddenly adds so much to the whole perspective You would then be forced to describe waht you wanted to say. After that, with a dawn of realization the prof would conclude "Oh, so u r saying that....." and you nod in amazement in the clarity he brought into your argument ( you nod nevertheless, coz u dont wanna be in the hot seat any more :) ). Then he counters you by quoting form the case with a question. When you answer it, he says " No, you are not listening"

There were times when i wanted to stand and tell him, "listen dude, i am listening".. Fear of grades ( or potential lack of it ) kept me quiet! :) But after so many hours with him, i understand what he means.. I was hearing him, but not listening!

When we listen, we need to :
1. Hear what the other person says,
2. think about the same in our mind
3. Identify and dig out the relevant message from the words
4. Confirm with the user if that is the right message.

I wonder how many of life's lessions, i have only heard and not listened to!