Savvy Raj

Live Life Lovingly!


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Gift of Listening

Giving your attention without fear or favour and caring to understand what another is saying, before responding says a lot about the person who is listening…

Here is a true incident…

Viktor Frankl, one of the great psychiatrists of the twentieth century, survived the death camps of Nazi Germany. His little book, Man’s Search for Meaning , is one of those life-changing books that everyone should read.

Frankl once told the story of a woman who called him in the middle of the night to calmly inform him she was about to commit suicide. Frankl kept her on the phone and talked her through her depression, giving her reason after reason to carry on living. Finally she promised she would not take her life, and she kept her word.

When they later met, Frankl asked which reason had persuaded her to live?
“None of them”, she told him.
What then influenced her to go on living, he pressed?
Her answer was simple, it was Frankl’s WILLINGNESS TO LISTEN to HER in the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.

A world in which there was SOMEONE ready to listen to another’s pain seemed to her a world in which it was worthwhile to live.

Often, it is not the brilliant argument that makes the difference. Sometimes the small act of LISTENING is the GREATEST GIFT we can GIVE.

How can we choose to listen well?

What are the barriers to effective listening? How can we improve our listening abilities.

A few issues in listening well….or what is called Ineffective listening.

Distraction caused by the difference between speaking and thinking speeds in humans. So if the speaker speaks too slowly or too fast, the listeners may lose the plot.

At times the appearance or personality quirks or the environment changes can create distractions.

Distraction also causes the listener to show a lack of interest through body language like in posture of loss of eye contact.

Overcoming distractions requires keeness to improve and interest in personal development as much as a sense of commitment to the task at hand.

Here are a 5 tips for improving listening skills.

1. Restating . Pay full attention so as to be able to restate or paraphrase in your own words every once in a while, what it is that you have heard so as to make the speaker feel listened to.

2 Prompting . Use short and positive prompts by interjecting them in the pauses … to show interest like .. And then ? So ?or I know…

3.Validating .Express your empathy . Show that you understand what another is saying or going through. Acknowledge the issues faced by another or the feelings as they are speaking. It shows you are sincere in your concern.

4.Pausing . Allow for some gaps in the conversation.. it helps buy time to think for both the speaker and the listener . As it helps process the information. Silences are great tools to let go the unnecessary gibberish and loose-ended talks which may be counter- productive.

5.Shifting . Redirecting a speaker when needed by shifting the topic gradually changes the tone of the discussion which can at times get too aggressive or violent for comfort.

There are so many ways that develops the GIFT OF LISTENING .

Have also found that in practise, the art of listening well involves all of our senses.

After all the art of a great conversation lies in the ability to listen keenly and respond well than simply react.

Savvy

Personally speaking I have often been a good listener… yet I must confess that there are a few close friends to whom I have spoken who are such great listeners that they put me at ease.

It is truly wonderful to be listened to as much as to listen. There is so much healing in the listening as much as in the sharing. I take this opportunity to thank those friends and readers who cared to give me a listening ear and time.🙏

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Life is how you live it. (Part2)

Infinite moments are meant to happen
Every moment is not the same
There is much within you
That can turn the way this moment feels

Sometimes life can be challenging
Making every moment difficult
There can be pain, agony that seem endless
Or every moment may seem like a chore

Yet whatever the times that must pass us by
How we feel deep within is
in how we learn to take the moment .
In happiness and sorrow, in joy and pain.

Allow the moment to manifest itself
As it is meant to
Don’t fight it, for as it comes it shall go
Remember nothing lasts forever.

In the river of time these moments slip on
In the passage of time
And so gear up to experience a brand new moment .
For every moment is a fresh start.

See every moment in goodwill of hope
Awaken to the present moment
For thats what truly matters
Life is how you live it.

Savvy

A few musings in continuation of yesterday’s post and its comments.


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You lead I follow : I lead you follow… Life is a dance!

Do you love to dance?

Do you enjoy leading a dance?

What makes a dance enjoyable?

Dance is a lot like life . Here I bring forth a few simple pointers on Partner Dancing.

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Important lessons in leadership are easily learned, on the dance floor…as you lead and as you follow.

They are very simple lessons and yet very powerful and contribute in making one a better dancer immediately. But more importantly it helps to know how to be a better leader in life too.

About two decades or more, Social dancing workshops and lessons in India were rarely common. We decided to do something about it and the Dance Concepts Latin &ballroom dance workshops began . We started with the basics :a Foxtrot , a Waltz , Jive , Rock n Roll and of course a Cha Cha Cha.

The idea was to teach as naturally and as simply as possible, so that the students made quick progress in learning the concepts of dancing rather than just a routine. Having had the privilege of sharing our social dancing skills with so many eager learners over the years we made a few observations … when the learners were learning the footwork side by side they would find it a breeze. But when we instructed them to join hands and dance together in an open hold some of them felt as if they were wrestling more than dancing with the lady pulling one way, while the man was pushing her another way Each had their ideas about how they should move and how it would look.

Social Dancing is a partnership, a partnership where there is a leader and a follower. Even if you don’t like to follow, to dance well together it is wise to respect the partnership rules. Learning to follow is a skill that one needs to develop and is not necessarily easy. It’s difficult as you have to do the same thing your partner is doing, except backward.

Just as important, you have to follow his lead even if it seems as if he’s going the wrong way. And thus if one learns to lead well, the partner may actually enjoy the feeling of being led than feeling yanked and shoved around.

Traditionally the man takes the lead on the dance floor. Yes, in ballroom dancing – even in these days -mostly the man leads. But roles can be and are reversed as well. After all it takes two to tango… if one leads the other follows.

Being a leader is more about sensitivity and definitely not about pushing your partner around, but to lead well, it is necessary to develop spatial awareness so you know exactly where your partner is at every moment, which foot their weight is balanced on without looking. You have to be aware of their pacing, and be mindful of the strengths, and weaknesses. And you have to take all that into consideration every time you move with a partner in your arms.

A good leader connects than controls.

Savvy

Sense what you are going to do before you do it. Just be aware of what your next step is going to be, and give your partner the signal at the right time so they can follow you gracefully. Like so in life: Having some foresight of what your life should become is like knowing what type of dance you want to do. But being a good leader requires more of you than that. It demands that you also have good ideas about the medium- and short-term tasks that are required to achieve that vision. And it means you have to communicate those ideas to your partners – those who are working closely with you to achieve your vision.

When dancing together it is very important to …

Signal your intentions with clarity. To lead well, and the way to avoid using force is to give strong, clear signals. The clearer your signals are, the easier it is to follow you. And the easier it is for your partner to follow you, the better you will look and feel together and the better they will like dancing with you.

In life: knowing what you want from your partners, colleagues etc is not enough. You have to let them know what you want them to do by communicating it to them with clarity. And most of all you have to develop the art of patience.

Lead to demonstrate your partner’s strengths.In dancing, the purpose of the leader is to lead – but the purpose of the dance itself is to enjoy the moment with your partner, each focusing on the bringing the best of each others strengths than the weaknesses…

Wise leaders hardly blame the follower when things go haphazard , which it might at times! After all exhilaration and excitement are a stones throw away from comfort zones that one might trespass at times , yet when ever the leader and the follower work in harmony … it is magnetic and mesmerizing indeed! It is then a dance beyond all expectations!

Savvy Raj

Member of International Dance Council

UNESCO

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Walk the path of love

Walk on the path of love

A whiff of love
Roses strewn
The path of love
Beckons you

Tread softly
Gentle is the way
For love is fragile
Treasure a trust that
Beholds you!

Winding along
You feel its intensity
In its passion
Yet you persevere
Be unwavering!

Know love teases
And tests you
Beguiles you
To reveal
Yourself to you!
Be true!

For the journey
Is an eternal walk
Infinite is its path
Be yourself at best!
Be the real you!

For all else sheds itself
Like those petals strewn
To be, at best wayfarers
In the trysts of true lovers!

Savvy Raj