Monday, March 5, 2012
When you talk, you repeat what you already know; when you listen, you often learn something new or you're reminded of something you knew but have forgotten or you figure out something you thought you knew but didn't understand. But now you do. Just because you listen.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
If talk is cheap, why do we always find ourselves paying such a huge price for not listening?
The answer is simple. It is because we have undervalued the true worth of conversation. We often hear about the art of conversation—how it’s dying or what’s needed to make it flourish, or how rare it is to hear good conversation. What is killing the art of conversation is nothing more than the absence of good listeners.
You don’t believe me? Well, get on the subway in New York City, say something and see if anyone hears you, let alone listens to you. Everyone is wearing a headphone or earphones or just staring into space.
In today’s world, there are many things competing for our attention. Gone are the days when all you needed to remember was your phone number and perhaps your social security number. Today, you have to remember not only those important numbers, but your cell phone number, social security number, tens of passwords and tens of PINs (Personal Identification Numbers), etc.
Because of the premium price placed on time, we’ve also placed a price tag on conversation. We only wish to engage in conversations that bring monetary value. We no longer want chat time with our neighbors or family members, or the elderly Mrs. Williams at the end of the block, because we suspect she would want to tell us all about the good old days when we could leave our doors unlocked or sit on our front porch and wave to passers-by. We only want conversations that lead to income. No longer do we want to engage in a conversation that centers on others; just what’s in it for us.
In order for us to enjoy once again the art of conversation, we must be willing to listen.
Listening is not natural. It is not one of the body’s senses. Listening is an art. Those who have mastered the art of listening are well on their way to being popular and learning something new.
Remember, the art of conversation lies in listening.