செவியிற் சுவையுணரா வாயுணர்வின் மாக்கள்
அவியினும் வாழினும் என்.
(Meaning: There is no use, if the persons (Thiruvalluvar calls them as animals) who do not possess 'listening skills'. whether they live or die?)
In the earlier edition of this blog, we had written about the need for soft skills, as told by Saint Thiruvalluvar. Listening skills is part of the soft skills.
When Steven Covey added the 'active listening' as eighth habit, the entire management community hailed him for his new addition. Saint Thiruvalluvar, two thousand years back, had given the greatest importance to this 'listening skills'. In one of the Thirukkurals (Kural 411), he considers the listening skill as the greatest and supreme wealth.
In this Thirukkural under discussion, he uses strongest words and calls the people without listening skills as மாக்கள் ('maakkal' means animals). He even goes even one step further to say that there is no use whether they live or die. In my view, this is the only Thirukkural, where Saint Thiruvalluvar uses the strongest words against the people who do not have listening skills.
Presently, we come across many instances where the Senior Management Executives and also the team leaders, do not possess adequate 'listening skills'. When the other persons convey something, they do not give adequate attention to absorb their views and then to take decision. Several reasons are attributed to this phenomenon for such bad listening habits, including the attitudinal problems.
Present Management Gurus emphasise on the need for 'active listening', which includes giving feedback to the speaker, maintaining eye contact, body language, etc. If you take out a list of the most successful people and analyse their behaviour, you would definitely conclude that they all possess 100% active listening skills.