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The 2016 Debacle

The Political landscapes across the globe were proving drastically wrong forecasts, with improbably wrong polling data.

The mainstream media, which is relying on social media for most of the data, was misleading because of it, and the political forecasters were not listening to what needed to be listened to.

@lailaim23

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No One Listens Anymore

Most of us have encountered people around us, friends, family or colleagues, who aren't the best of listeners.

As the world gets more and more connected and complicated, listening is turning out to be a neglected aspect of communications. Whether it's the news on TV, where authentic talk hardly exists, or how a conversation is portrayed in movies, people don't see other people listening to something quietly and actively.

By deriving polling data from social media and quoting trending soundbites from Twitter and Facebook, real voices that may not be trending and of any interest to politicians, lobbyists, activists or business interests are losing ground.

Fake accounts and bots are repeating the narrative across the internet to shape the perception as per need.

Politicians and Pop Celebs have millions of fake followers and bots to derive likes and trend their posts, setting the stage for what is to be paid attention to.

This rule states that only a small section of users (around 1%) in any given platform (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and many others) post any content actively.

9% are occasional contributors, and the rest 90% of them are a silent majority only looking at content that is posted by others.

Most people have gotten used to others not listening to what they want to say, so they have stopped demanding others to listen.

Most of the talk doesn't go beyond the usual jokes and social niceties, as deeply personal talk is now being considered as a burden on others.

It is getting awkward for some to talk face to face, and email or text conversations seem more efficient and lead to better screening.

Sitting with a person face to face, without disturbance and listening to what is being said is now almost a lost art.

Due to an increase in distractions, listening now takes a lot more effort than before.

The ability to listen carefully diminishes if one is not using it often, so it is imperative that we practice this lost skill more.

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RELATED IDEAS

The ability to let others talk and not interrupt them is a skill that you must practice on a daily basis. This allows us to see more of the other person rather than ourselves.

Back in the 1990s, a woman naming Betty Bigombe was able to befriend a warlord by providing an opportunity for them to share their views. Betty Bigombe became Uganda's Woman of the Year for having initiated the peace talks to put an end to the violence between Kony and the Ugandan president and its people.

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IDEAS

Good listening doesn't follow a technique as much as being willing to enter into another person's life.

Listening through the screen of your own desires means that you are listening to your own voice and desires. It is the same as not listening at all. Listening demands wiping the slate of your mind clean.

What makes a great listener
  • Asking great questions;
  • Playing attention to the nonverbal communication;
  • Forgoing taking detailed notes to pay better attention;
  • Listening with the intent to understand, not the intent to respond;
  • Making people feel heard;
  • Following up on what matters.