Are you listening…not just hearing?
There’s a hearing exercise I do every so often throughout my life. It’s what I call pinpoint listening. Maybe you’ve done this, too. You stop doing whatever you’re doing where ever you are and see how many different sounds you can identify. It’s an excellent exercise in focusing your ability to hear and remember what you heard. And it increases your power of observation. You can do this with visuals, too, but for the purpose of this post I’m sticking with sound because I’m serious…are you listening?
Why do I bring it up?
Well, I’ve observed something I find very unsettling. Many people, if not most, I interact with on a regular basis don’t listen very well. It doesn’t seem to bother the ones who do this, but I think it’s totally counterproductive.
I once heard it said “when your mouth is open, you aren’t learning anything new.” And I think it’s important to learn from others even if you don’t think they’re as interesting, smart, or successful as you. You can learn from a total idiot. At the very least you can learn how not to be a total idiot or that you certainly don’t want to be a total idiot. Another thing you can learn by listening is this…
People are very similar.
Yeah, it’s true. They may believe they’re completely unique or mystifying, or eccentric. But most people are similar. They just have different likes and dislikes. Like for instance…a lot of people don’t mind a group of people all talking at the same time and stomping on top of each other’s words. I do. I find it distracting and annoying. Now, you may be saying, “Tony…you’re really going on a rant. Chill out, dude.”
I don’t mean it to sound that way, but I do want to get the point across. Listening is good. Not merely hearing, but listening. Are you listening? Or only hearing?
I realize some people will take advantage of your willingness to listen and never shut up, but it’s worth the hassle. And it even ties in with business. Can you imagine the difference it would make to a potential customer or client if you listened closely enough to remember their birthday? Then you send a card when every other business person forgets. Where will you be in that client’s mind?
You might end up at the front of the line.
We live in a very hectic age, and people think they don’t have time to listen. Don’t buy into that misinformation. Your fellow human being is worth listening to. You may have a chance to make a difference based on what you hear. And you may just need or want the same respect given to you some time. So…are you listening? Or are you only hearing?
I can guarantee this without guilt, shame, or a sense of superiority…I’m one of the best listeners you’ll encounter. Try me and see. Send me a message using the form over there on the side, and I’ll be sure and get back to you. You’ll even get some free songs and free book for kids…worth the price of admission…wouldn’t you say?
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