Don’t Hear Me, Listen

How often do we really listen to each other? How good are we at actually retaining the information we’re listening to?

I’ll be honest – I’m not a great listener. As I was thinking about ideas for this post, my mom was explaining the night’s dinner options, and I did not listen, so she had to repeat her entire statement again. It’s a small example, but this inability to listen to one another can lead to true misunderstandings and perhaps greater conflict. At the risk of sounding a little preachy, I believe that most of world conflicts today stem from a fundimental inability to listen to one another.

Julian Treasure, chair of Sound Agency, a firm that advises businesses around the world on how to best use sound, shares my opinion. I first heard of him through his recent TED talk in July. As you may expect by now, I’ve included it below, and it is definitely worth watching. Only 7:50! Everybody can easily fit into that into their schedule.

Life is full of so many distractions, and it’s far too easy to get caught up in our own lives instead of spending time and listening to the people who matter most. Listening is not only a critical part of our interpersonal relations, but it also is one of our primary means of acquiring and processing information.

We do a lot of hearing and not a lot of listening.

Listening is another part of living a more present and conscious life. And that, is a worthy goal for anyone living in this modern world.
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Do you do a good job listening? How do you stay engaged when you’re listening to someone? Let me know in the comments.

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