Our Moral Compass: The Most Basic Human Need

“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.”

-Ralph Nichols

When we think of the area of social awareness we know it as as the ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others. The key in making certain levels of growth in this skillset one of the most important things we must improve in is in the area of listening. Known as the “Father of Listening” Ralph Nichols believed and stated in today’s quote that listening was the most basic of all human needs and what we all desire: the need to understand and be understood. In the late 1950’s he said that listening was an inside job where it the listener must be actively engaged. It is a ten part skill that became more or less a guide to good listening:

1. Find an area of interest

2. Judge content, not delivery

3. Hold your fire (or in other words keep your self in check and leave emotion out of it)

4. Listen for ideas

5. Be flexible (referring to your note-taking skills as they may vary depending on the speech)

6. Work at listening

7. Resist distractions

8. Exercise your mind

9. Keep your mind open.

10. Capitalize on thought speed. (anticipate what they are talking about, summarize what they are saying and notice the changes in speaker’s tone and the volume of their voice)

When we take the time and out in the effort to apply any of these 10 ways we not only increase our listening skills but also our social awareness.

What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards becoming more socially aware?

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