Stoa Digest #23: Listen Carefully,
and pay attention!
From the Editorial Desk
Listening - what is it, why are some good at it, and others really bad at it?
Is it a skill, can you hone it and make it better?
The answer to the last 3 questions are all, a big, resounding Yes!
When you meet someone whose only everyday to speak, instead of listen, it's because that's the kind of life experience they've had in conversations.
A good listener is an individual who is just very comfortable to be in the company/presence of. They demand very little from you physically, or verbally, but emotionally are able to navigate you telling a story into something of interest for them.
They’re the ones who are able to keep you on track to finishing a story, while also learning what it is that story made you feel.
Here are a few traits of a good listener:
They egg you on
One of the key phrases a good listener keeps handy is: "Go On".
They dig deeper into the stories you tell, in an attempt to understand more than simply just what you're saying. More likely, to remember something you've said before, to link to a conversation being had in the present.
A listener is always in the attempt to help you clarify for yourself what you are talking about, more than taking away an anecdote of what it is you're saying.
They’ll let you finish
They won't stop you mid-sentence to make their own point, but it is more likely than not, that you will hear them make sounds of encouragement or recognition of the conversation. "Mmmnn" "Hmmm" "Mmmnhmm" "Yess" or even non-verbal cues like nodding their heads
The fact that they are listening, is because they know they are learning more about themselves by listening to you.
They’re less likely to bring judgement upon you, because they empathise with you, and also look to feel the emotions in a story you’re telling.
Disagreeing Vs Judging
A good listener finds clear demarcation between disagreement and criticism. While the former is fairly hostile, a good listener will make it known that they disagree, without making you feel like it has now jeopardised their liking of you.
Sometimes, you're more likely to understand more of yourself by listening to other people.
A good writer is usually known for being able to demarcate what is “universally relevant” from what is “locally specific”.
Why am I talking of a writer now? Well, writers are really, really good at making you live vicariously, and describing the emotions of a moment, hence allowing you to turn page after page to read further.
When you're telling a story, remember that it works best when you tell someone what you feel about that particular story, and not just categorically what happened with it.
A good listener is like being a good editor, you have to be able to finish the story for yourself, and the best way you will come to the end of the story is to keep tracking the emotions of the person telling it.
For the next time you listen to a story: If you find the storyteller digressing and moving away from what you've been emotionally invested in this whole time along, bring them back with a question about their original tale.
Well, you shouldn’t need to be told this at all, but like we all know.
This weekend was Stoa’s third cohort’s meetup in Goa.
One of the biggest meetups we’ve seen be planned out of a home state of a large group of fellows, and apparently they’ve also come up with a slogan for it.
What stories did we miss out on?
Guess we’re not the only ones who’ll have to wait to find out!
Let's Rewind: Last Week at Stoa
Last Thursday we ran one of our old models of a Speed Meeting. Which meant the time limit was a little bit better than Gather Round's fading displays. We did receive resounding feedback that even the breakout rooms need to be longer.
If you haven't been to one of these before - we urge you to keep your eyes peeled for the next one!
Last Tuesday we started our workshops on Communication Skills with Bharat. It's okay if you missed last week's, you can still attend this week's as well. In a world that is slowly opening up, Communication Skills are more important than ever.
Fellows Rocket🚀🚢 Shipping Content
Birthday Parttaaayy! 🥳 🎂
17th - Brijendra Kumar
18th - Abhinav Dhar
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For Stoans by Stoans
It feels like since we migrated to Circle and back, the Learn Together channels lost their identity completely.
To alums & C3 fellows - you guys know best what you used the Learn channels for.
More than just help-me-out asks, which are great ways to use those channels, we miss all those brilliant sources you all brought to our Learn channels.
What resources have you guys recently been looking at in the fields of:
Can’t wait to see what you share with us!
Meme Wars 🥲
This week’s shiny new winner of Best Meme goes to …………
Two-weeks-in-a-row winner Abhishek Pandey!