give one’s attention to a sound
take notice of and act on what someone says; respond to advice or a request.
an act of listening to something or someone.
Have you ever tried to say something and it seems that no one is listening? Have you ever asked a question and no one will respond? Hello world, is anyone out there?
No need to feel picked on, I’ve done it myself.
In fact, I’ve done it quite recently.
Yes, I’m GUILTY!
Have you noticed that nowadays more people are trying to be heard but less people are actually listening?
In the past few months, I have become increasingly aware of this habit. It hasn’t necessarily been toward me but rather in the general population. I know you’re thinking sure, “Not you,” sure pal, wink wink.
I’m telling the truth, although an experience last week acutely reminded me of this.
Listen up, people!!!!
I belong to a few online groups. Most of these groups deal with blogging or online business. You can ask questions and even promote your product. Those are both good things. The following question was one that I asked across 3 separate groups:
Good Morning! I have a request that should take about 3 minutes. Could you read this post and give me HONEST feedback. I have two questions.
1.From a male perspective is it too feminine? I am a female INTJ writer and am trying to appeal to both men and women.
- Do you feel that it’s complete..should it have more/less detail? If you have ANY other critique it would be MOST appreciated. I’m not looking for a site review (don’t wanna take too much time..lol) Thank you!!
Out of three groups, only one person responded. Why? I can’t say exactly. Bad timing? Long winded question? I know it’s not personal. I can honestly say that I’ve done the same thing. I did, however, observe that the following questions yielded a very high response rate each time they were asked:
Would you like more followers? If you follow me, I’ll follow you.
What is your latest product? Share it.
Would you like more success? Follow me and I’ll show you.
I can’t lie. These types of questions are very appealing to me. I respond eagerly to these as well. Growing and promoting are very important in any business. So then, what is it?
In life, we, which includes me, at times may only want to be heard, and it may be less appealing to listen to others especially if we cannot benefit. I couldn’t help but wonder if I had included a monetary reward would more people have responded? “Hey take 3 minutes and check out my blog and I’ll send you $20.00.
Do you think more people would have been willing to listen? I know that I would have, and that’s not even a lot of money.
The value would have been immediately recognized.
Creepy double dutch…
As an introverted thinker, I tend to observe a lot more than I would like. I almost can’t help it. It comes with being a patterned thinker as well. If I see a pattern I’ll test it out in a variety of ways. So when I began to notice people’s tendency to fake listen I wanted to see if it was true.
To test this theory I began observing people’s conversations. The best conversations that I observed were the ones in which I had no part. Yes to the groups at the table behind me in Starbucks, Panera’s and our local DMV, I was listening in on ya. ( I know, it’s kinda creepy…but c’mon it was for the sake of science!) It’s a bit comical to sit back and watch a group of people talking and realize that not one of them is really listening to each other.
They even asked questions and did not listen to the responses given. I felt as though I was watching intense double dutch games, with each player waiting for the right time to jump in. Time and time again this is what I observed:
Friend 1: So how was your weekend?
Friend 2: Oh it was the greatest!!! We did this and that and this and that.
Friend 3: Oh good!!! Well, we did that and this and that and then this again.
Friend 1: Oh awesome, I was in the hospital had 3 kidneys removed and my left foot relocated to my right.
Friend 4: Oh that’s super awesome and wonderful!!! We went to the..and then to the…and ended up at the…
That’s not to say that every conversation I observed went this way. However, you would be surprised at how many did.
Taking it a bit further, I moved on to conversations that I was directly involved in. There, I would interject a random statement in the conversation when I detected the other party wasn’t really listening. It was cashiers, friends, and yes even family. I simply said, “I’m dead.” I went as far as changing the inflections of my voice. ( I even James Earl Jonesed it…Luke…I’m dead!) Do you know, that most people responded with, “Oh that’s good!” playing off the whole I’m listening part. One friend said “Oh that’s good!!” And a few seconds later she was like “Waaaait!!! Did you just say you’re dead?” I’m like yup. I think I died in like 7 conversations before this, with 7 other people. We both laughed, I explained my silly theory which she acknowledged, “Yeah, I’m guilty, I was totally on one train of thought, I’m so sorry.”
The MOST guilty party…
It wasn’t until I came home one day brimming with excitement, that I realized I’m as much of the problem as anyone else. You ever get so excited, that you have to share what happened with somebody? Coincidentally, my daughter had equally exciting news that day. Of course in that scenario, the child always wins and so she went first. It wasn’t until I said the words Yeah, yeah, okay, so…….that I realized I had only listened on auto pilot. I was as fake as the rest of the nonlisteners of the world. So I backtracked and had her repeat the story, this time, listening to the details..sharing her excitement. When she was sufficiently satisfied with telling her story, she listened to mine. Funny thing was, I didn’t die. However, I did learn to:
- Hold My Horses. Calm it Down!
- Practice listening.
- Show genuine interest.
- Ask questions and listen to the response.
- Don’t be quick to jump subjects…relax.
If you have noticed that auto-pilot is ruling the way you have been interacting with people, then join me this week in….Listening to others.
Yup y’all, that is this week’s Monday Motivation..one day late. So, Tuesdays MOTIVATION!!
Next week’s article…Procrastination.
Note to self: Shhhh! Just listen.