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Monday Motivation: Listening not to Convince

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Recently I read an article on Wall Street Journal. The article was about the new kind of retreat. Our differences in opinions are amplified more than ever even when we listen. One line that resonated with me the most is looking to convince. One of the people interviewed for the article observed that we are listening to convince. Yes, we let other people have said what’s on their mind. However,  once they are done talking we go ahead and try to convince them about our opinions. It was an aha moment for me while I was reading the article. I recalled the many times I was guilty of this.
So how can we be better listeners? Below are some suggestions from the article:
– listen for two minutes without interruption
– don’t start your response to what has been said with “Yeah, but”..

Since we all have something to say, we sometimes forget to listen or even hear.

Listening is an underrated skill. Often listening is differentiated by its more than hearing. To listen is to hear what the other is saying with attention. Sounds simple enough, right? I hear you, but I am not listening. Alternatively, I am listening not hearing what you are saying.  It is not that simple.

We live in a world full of words. We all have something to say and the technologies we have to make it more than ever to express what we have to say. The other end of all this talking is the listening/hearing part. As much as I have something to say, the other person would have as much or even more. Since we all have something to say, we sometimes forget to listen or even hear.

Listening not to convince means being in the present. It means coming into the conversation not ready to judge or negate whatever is said. This is a hard thing to do especially in the workplace where sometimes having something contrarian to say is given more weight.