Do you listen impatiently?
Do you really listen are you interested in what the other person has to say? Or do you stand there waiting for them to finish, to have your say?
For many the first few sentences remind them of a story they have, or an opinion they want to hold forth about. So they wait with great impatience not really hearing the rest just waiting impatiently for their turn. Do you do that?
Some will even butt in quite rudely just to have their say.
The power of conversation.
Conversation as defined by Wikipedia:
- Conversation is interactive communication between two or more people.
The development of conversational skills and etiquette is an important part of socialization. The development of conversational skills in a new language is a frequent focus of language teaching and learning.”
Do you actually have conversations? Not gossip or idle chat but a real conversation.
As it says above, conversation is an interactive communication. Interactive as in 1 or more people listen, while another talks.
Those listening should be paying attention to the words, not already making up a response in their head.
Did you say WHY?
Because its not about listening to talk/reply. It’s about properly listening to the words being said, hearing the meaning and taking it onboard. It’s paying attention to whoever is speaking and giving them the full attention that you would want if you were talking.
In an exchange of views (the art of conversation) when you have an exchange of ideas, views and opinions it will change your viewpoint just a little or maybe a lot.
If you get angry at hearing someone else’s views, then you no longer listen and the exchange cannot take place. If your mind is closed to any other opinion except your own, the same result occurs.
A true open and honest conversation leaves all participants feeling good. They go away knowing that their life has been enriched by the exchange because they really listened and heard the other person or people.
Listen to learn.
When you learn something new, are you being taught either by a person or video, do you listen properly. Yes?
If so why? Because you are keen to learn or you need to learn the subject matter maybe. If it’s something you are interested in you will listen and pay attention. It’s much easier when you want to learn.
If your answer was no. Why? Are you being pushed into learning something that holds no interest for you? Maybe you just don’t like listening unless it’s something you want or concerns a hobby.
It’s our own best interest to listen properly when we are learning something new, otherwise we can end up going over and over the same thing just to take the knowledge onboard.
Is it your Attention span?
* It’s just as you suspected; the information age has changed the general attention span. A recently published study from researchers at the Technical University of Denmark suggests the collective global attention span is narrowing due to the amount of information that is presented to the public. *
We do like to have something or someone to blame if we can’t or won’t do something.
Busting the attention span myth.
- In the always-connected world of social media, smartphones and hyperlinks in the middle of everything you read, it can feel that much harder to stay focused.
- And there are statistics too. They say that the average attention span is down from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to eight seconds now. That is less than the nine-second attention span of your average goldfish.
- You might have seen those stats in Time magazine, the Telegraph, the Guardian, USA Today, the New York Times or the National Post. Maybe you heard a Harvard academic citing them on US radio. Or perhaps you read the management book Brief.
- But if you pay a bit more attention to where the statistics come from, the picture is much less clear.
So apparently it is from some statistics and not from others. Well that’s not much of a surprise.
Although in general, thanks to social media, people have become used to focusing on points of interest for much shorter amounts of time. Let’s face it, if something doesn’t capture your interest in the first couple of lines, you move on.
Do you find your attention wandering and your hand reaching for your phone when you are supposed to be listening? Listening properly is a choice you make and often depends upon who you are listening to and the subject matter.
Shorter attention span or not, some people do not listen and pay attention. Many that do listen, only do so in preparation to speak themselves.
If you listen with an open heart and mind you can hear more than the words that are spoken. It can change you and your viewpoint in however small a way.
Do you sometimes feel that you aren’t listened too? The way to remedy that is to learn to listen to others, not just to reply, but because you want to.
Listening is a gift and sometimes a person doesn’t want help or advice just someone to listen and show they care. So put down the phone and really focus, give a person your full attention and just listen.
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