Timothy Lee/ Larchmont School 11th Grade
When we engage in a conversation, we should be asking ourselves these questions: am I really listening to what the speaker is saying? Do I really care about what the speaker is saying? Am I comprehending the central message of what he/she is saying? Nowadays, conversation is present but comprehension and attention is absent. The absence of seeking to understand in the midst of discussion leads to ineffective communication between the individuals, therefore resulting in a weaker connection between both people. Ineffective communication can be solved by active listening. Active listening is the uppermost and most effective level of listening, requiring the comprehension of the intent, content, and the emotion of the speaker. This stimulates motivational energy and intake of new information on the speaker, ultimately establishing a stronger relationship and connection between the speaker and the listener. Active listening provides a plethora of benefits, and it should be implemented across the globe. But, because retaining active listening skills is not so easy, it is crucial that somebody teaches the youth the methods of active listening and helps us reap the benefits.
According to the American College Health Association(ACHA), suicide is the second most common cause of death among high school and college students. Many of these depressed students are afraid to reach out to somebody about their depression, exacerbating the problem of mental health in students. Additionally, if these students do decide to talk to somebody about their issues, there is a good chance that the listener is not experienced and will be incapable of alleviating the negative emotions saturating the speaker’s mind. Even worse, if you lack empathy and sensitivity, you can unknowingly hurt the feelings of your loved one who is suffering from mental illness(cognitivehealing.com).
So, why should we learn how to actively listen? Reasons why active listening should be taught among my generation is to learn how to talk to people with these issues, learn more about who they are, and give depressed individuals acknowledgement. Additionally, because depression is such a prevalent issue in my generation, the edification of active listening will enable depressed students to talk to their peers with experience under their belt. For me, talking to someone without interruptions always made me feel better, as an active listener allows the speaker to vent their feelings and creates an atmosphere of empathy and impartiality. They never ever initiate or engage in conflict. Students being able to actually learn skills in active listening will channel positive energy, and this beacon of openness and respect will permeate through our youth while aiding depression steadily but surely.
Hypothetically, if students were to be able to possess skills of active listening, an environment of active listeners would be more than possible. As a result, it would be much easier for a person suffering from depression to talk to somebody experienced rather than going to an expensive therapist. It is imperative that active listening should be modeled through adults and that techniques should be taught to mitigate depression and to create the stigma-free environment across Generation Z. That way, the world will be one step closer in tackling this dreadful dilema of suicide and depression.
In addition to giving depressed individuals a mental refuge, active listening is also a constituent for success in future employment. According to Thoughtco, when interviewing for jobs, using active listening techniques can help show the interviewer how your interpersonal skills can draw people out. Active listening redirects your focus from what is going on inside of your head to the needs of your prospective employer or interviewer. Especially in this growing competitive world, the rat race to a successful career is getting increasingly harder as the years pass by. Although school provides students important information for the future, it should also be important to teach us skills in socializing and business interactions.
When students are readying up for the huge hungry world, they might possess knowledge of math, science, or other various subjects. However, they are not taught on how to build connections with fellow employees or employers. A student may be a complete genius in the field of engineering at the workplace but can still get fired due to the lack of attentive and social skills. Maintaining relationships is important in the workplace, even more than the application of skill.
Active listening ensures that a worker’s relationship with his or her employees will always be solid. This cornerstone of a relationship is because of two results of active listening: trust and connections. Because active listening provides an atmosphere without interruptions, judgment or unwelcome interjections, people are likely to speak more freely to you, increasing the chances of a long-term relationship. This long-term relationship can be beneficial to working environment, stabilizing your spot in the workplace. Additionally, when you demonstrate your ability to sincerely listen to what others have to say, people will be more interested in communicating with you on a regular basis. This can help open up opportunities to collaborate with others, get work done quickly or start new projects(Mulvania). Currently, students are not taught on how to maintain healthy relationships with future employees or companions in the workplace. It should be important that my generation receives the valuable lesson of active listening, to guide them in their future endeavors in their career.
The evidence is quite clear. Active listening is extremely beneficial for all people and it should be taught without any second thought. Quite frankly, parents and teachers should be teaching the youth active listening skills immediately. These techniques will help the youth grow as listeners and progress as understanding and unprejudiced people. This chain of positivity and productivity is valuable to humankind. Isn’t that important? Isn’t that the kind of world you want to live in? There is no room for prejudgment in our world, and we, as the current generation, should seek to understand. It is advantageous for us in every step of our lives, as well as the people surrounding us. Teach us to become listeners and not just hearers. I encourage you, an adult in the society, to teach the children of today the techniques of active listening.
<Timothy Lee/ Larchmont School 11th Grade