It's time to tune in: why listening is the real key to communication
Meeting others face-to-face, or even talking over the phone is increasingly unpleasant and intrusive, with text messages and emoji being preferred.
Lack of listening is fuelling the rise of loneliness, which is linked to heart disease, stroke, and even premature death.
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The image one has of success and glory is someone speaking on a stage, holding a microphone. Schools have courses in communication, how to speak perfectly, and how to debate well, while social media is providing us means to express ourselves in countless ways.
Modern life is discouraging listening, with loud noise in offices and even coffee shops, and the traffic noise in the streets making us lose our listening ability even more.
It is by listening that human beings are able to connect, co-operate, comprehend, empathize, understand and develop themselves.
Listening is fundamental to any meaningful relationship, whether it is personal, professional or political.
Listening isn't about keeping quiet and holding your replies until someone has stopped speaking. True listening is about:
Asking the right questions, the ones about the speaker's interests, and not intrusive or self-promoting, is the key to having a good conversation.
Having a fulfilling conversation bridges differences and makes you find common ground with people with a different and conflicting political stance or ideological position.
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