People Resist Listening

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.

@brielle49

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Communication

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We Live In The Age of Speaking

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:

  • How much you understand the other person's thoughts.
  • How you respond.
  • Your mind being clear of presumptions/assumptions while listening.
  • An openness and willingness to follow the teller's story.

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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RELATED IDEAS

Improving Active Listening skills
  • Educate yourself on common cognitive biases and shortcuts;
  • Avoid trying to respond immediately. Allow the other person time to finish speaking, then provide a considered response;
  • Minimize conversational narcissism by keeping track of your use of pronouns(I, me);
  • Seek to develop a clear picture of the other person’s logic;

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IDEAS

Mistakes we make in conversations
Our general tendency is to:
  • Evaluate: We judge what someone is saying and agree or disagree.
  • Probe: We ask questions from our own frame of reference.
  • Advise: We give counsel, advice, and solutions to problems.
  • Interpret: We analyze others' motives and behaviors based on our own experiences.
What Someone Closed to Listening Thinks
  • How does this impact me?
  • When have I experienced this?
  • What would I do about this?
  • Where can I take this conversation?
  • What do I need to tell?

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