Can you hear me now?
Despite this wildfire marketing phrase, people are listening to each other less and less.
Listening is a skill we can all learn and practice. Face-to-face interaction is still the best way to connect with others – if you can be in the moment and actually listen.
Ted Talks http://www.ted.com/ has a great series of talks on how to hone your listening skills.
My favorite is the talk by Celeste Headlee: 10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation. http://www.ted.com/talks/celeste_headlee_10_ways_to_have_a_better_conversation
My favorite quote from her talk: “Everybody is an expert in something”
Another favorite quote: “There’s no reason to show you’re paying attention, if you are in fact paying attention.”
One of Headlee’s first rules of conversation is to stop multi-tasking. “Don’t be half in the conversation.”
In my household this advice is a bit controversial.
Grandma’s rule is “no cell phone when you’re with me, unless it’s an emergency.”
My generation is much more “it’s rude to multi-task, but the other person’s phone is like a third person in a conversation. They get a turn too.”
The kids are much more of an annoyed “Why did you stop talking?”
“Because you’re typing on your phone.”
“We’ll wait for you to finish.”
Kids: “Just keep talking. We can do both. It’s annoying when you stop your thought.”
Ted Talks fall on my side of the equation, but what are your thoughts?
Do you multi-task?
Do you pretend to be in the conversation, but are skipping ahead to your reply, or just nodding and thinking of something else entirely?
Are you 100% in the moment and truly listening to and responding to what the person is saying?
I fall in all three categories, but I’m going to try to get better at the latter because all people are amazing. All you have to do is listen.
Please share your thoughts.
Also try Ted Talks by Julian Treasure