Published on June 17, 2022
(c) GeorgiosArt Fotosearch_k4132438
“You never listen” is not just the complaint of a problematic relationship with one’s spouse or rebellious teenager. I think it’s also become an epidemic in a world that is exchanging convenience for content and speed for meaning. Unfortunately, then, listening is a skill that we’re in danger of losing in a world of digital distraction and information overload.
In my daily business experiences, I find that too many people confuse “hearing” with “listening.”
HEARING is not a learned skill: We and every other vertebrate that hasn’t suffered some genetic, developmental or environmental accident have been doing it for hundreds of millions of years. Hearing is a sense.
LISTENING, on the other hand, is a skill . . . and is something you consciously choose to do.Listening requires concentration so that your brain processes meaning from words and sentences.
Too many people are only intent on HEARING to respond, meaning, while you’re talking, they’re already thinking of what they want to say next. How can someone listen and absorb what you’re saying if they’re silently lining up the words in their head, one behind the other, that will come out of their mouths as soon as they don’t hear anymore “noise” coming from you?
I experience this on a daily basis with clients, not all . . . but many. They hear, but they don’t listen. I talk, I teach, I show, I instruct, and the next time I see them we’re having the same conversations . . . over and over again.
These are clients who are “hard of listening” rather than “hard of hearing.”
It is LISTENING that leads to learning.
And it is LEARNING that leads to change.