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Everyone is talking – but is anyone listening?

When one listens, one hears. When one hears, one learns. Mildred Lopez writes


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Communication is a gift to bring people together.

However, in an age where condescending communication, particularly through technology, has the consequence of drawing attention to self-importance and suppression, it has become a weapon against each other, and people grow deaf and weary.

Communication is foremost for sharing, and sharing demands listening. Often, perceived sharing is merely akin to having the last word, no one hears and listening is absent. The one who talks the most and the loudest claims power. There is no harmony, and diversity is not harnessed.

The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply – Roy T Bennett, aAuthor of The Light In The Heart

In a family, in a group or a corporate environment, there are people who are looked at sceptically and sidelined or disregarded, and the music in them is never heard.

I found one such person in the organisation I worked for. He was a well-qualified professional with excellent scores in all his exam papers at an international institution. We had great expectations of him. However, work given was lacklustre, often delayed and deadlines not met.

One day, at the work day’s end, after most had left the office, I took the time to sit at his workstation over a cup of tea and to work together on various unfinished assignments. I found he had good ideas that were apparently not acceptable to his various bosses. They had their conventional ways to dispense with issues presented and quickly.

He thought differently. He wanted clients to be provided with meaningful solutions. He was a critical thinker.

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We discussed long and hard and drew up well-supported solutions and had these emailed to his bosses before we left that night. It was an eye-opener that drew out the best in him. Today, that gentleman is CEO of a notable organisation.

Listening requires patience. It takes time. It requires compassion. Listening demands the proximity of human bodies to feel the presence of each other’s pulse. Listening entails looking into the eyes of the other and inclining the ear of the heart to truly hear the unspoken voice of the soul of a fellow human being, to hear what they want and what they have to offer. Much more is said in the unspoken than in the spoken.

Through intent listening, prejudice converts to compassion, problems become possibilities, criticism translates to ideas, and anguish gives rise to new hope.

Designation is not the trust factor. It is who you are as a credible person. If you become a good listener, providence will collaborate to enable.

In this environment, there is clarity where solutions are possible, and humanity thrives in an environment of trust, which gives birth to a plethora of ideas which nurture creative endeavours in innovation and invention. Everyone wins.

Mildred Lopez is from the accountancy profession specialising in revenue law, forensic accounting and financial criminology. She uses her expertise on social innovations to nurture and capitalise on resources to provide creative solutions

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