Monday, July 29, 2013

TED Tuesday: 5 Ways to Listen Better

Me: "Did you hear what I said?"

Dan: "What?"

Me: "Did you he__, you're a jerk."

DANGER: We are losing our listening!

Do you consider yourself a good listener, or feel like you actually retain what you hear?

We are often distracted by multiple sounds, multiple signals and competing 'noise' from all directions and on average only retain 25% of what we hear.

I for one have a problem focusing on just one thing at a time. I'm constantly juggling an iPhone in one hand, a laptop in front of me, people asking me questions and email noise popping in left and right. I think of myself as efficient, but if the reality is that I'm only retaining 25% maybe I'm living my life wrong.

Confession #1: Just last week I recorded a conference call so that I could replay it back because I knew I wasn't going to be able to give 100% attention - and truly didn't even give 40%! Playing it back on a run over the weekend allowed me to get caught up on the meeting that I physically attended but emotionally ignored.

Confession #2: This 7 minute video shared below about ways to listen better? Yeah, I had to watch it 2 and a half times to capture all of the notes for this post because I was distracted by kittens running around the house, a Say Yes to the Dress marathon and the bustling neighborhood. Seriously, I couldn't even actively listen to a video about active listening (which could also be attributed to point #2 about day drinking in yesterday's post).

Confession #3: If you want me to really listen more, say less. Tami wrote a great tutorial on How to (not) Write a Press Release last week and I'm talking about "Mistake #2".

Maybe you're better than me, so how about you give it a try. Watch the video, actively listen, and get on board with being able to understand the people around you better than ever before.

[ted id=1200]


Macey Snelson said...

First of all, I LOVE your TED talk posts. I discovered TED a few years ago, and fell in love. Secondly, great post. I think we can all learn to be better listeners.

brooke lyn said...

great use of the 'shit girls say' gif. i just re-watched the first one last night for a little pick me up.

Pepper Ferguson said...

I am really struggling with listening right now too, is it the kids thing? I know your brain shrinks when you have kids (not kidding), but maybe it makes our ears hear too much around us to pay attention too!

pechluck (@pechluck) said...

Can I just say, I always love reading your blog on the Max during my commute because I have to see what animated gif you were able to find to always humorously but on topic add to your posts...

Ok, on topic, one of the things I really hate at work is I want to listen to someone's points that perhaps are totally different from my viewpoint, and then walk away and digest them or research them and then come back. If they finish talking and then they expect me to respond on the fly without a long awkward pause, at one point I have to start thinking about my side, which interrupts my active listening!

Lauren said...

I had to stop by your blog because I see we comment on many of the same ones =) I think listening, or just paying attention to one thing at a time in general, is on the decline. I think that recording your conference call shows that you're a problem solver more than anything, so good job!

Jessi said...

People are CRAZY who don't let others listen, digest, etc. to other viewpoints. We are really open here at work and we study each other's personality profiles for this exact reason. People know that they need to give me enough detail to be effective but to Leave me alone so I can rock out and get it done. Yay for blog reading on the max!

aubrielegault said...

I'm sorry I tried listening to the TED video but I got distracted by the web, my dog barking and the annoying fan. ;) I'm not a good listener- even though I try really hard. My mind definitely wonders when I'm listening and I need to some how stop the wandering and listen intently. Thanks for sharing the video.

tbrehse said...

Oh geez, totally called me out on all of these. I'm learning I'm a pretty bad listener. But admitting you have a problem is half the problem, right? RIGHT?!?

Kasey said...

You totally wrote this post for me.
I probably listen only 40-50% of the time, especially when I'm watching tv/movie or looking at my phone. How sad, huh?