Everybody is only interested in themselves; I’m the only one who sometimes thinks about me. – Wim Kan
Yes, it is a bit paradoxical to talk about listening, but I think that you understand what I mean when I say: There is so much to be gained by listening to others, and I don’t mean to me – necessarily.
- Helps us learn
- Gets us closer to others – against loneliness, danger
- (When we listen to ourselves, we can get close to who we are)
- May help others to start listening too – do not burn-out
The world and the written world are often run on the assumption that all everyone ever should do is hear what we have to say.
Speakers and writers run our news and are our leaders.
Some have said: Politics should not be run by generals. How about: Our leaders should be therapist, experts in listening and hearing.
Some people know how to listen well. But often they lost their own voice, or at least, don’t find others who listen enough to them. How about training our kids and students (and first ourselves and friends) to listen and to share – by exchanging time.
Wonna improve any friendship or potential connection? Take turns listening to each other, without interruptions, or talking to each other. Swap three minutes and change your day. Do it every day with almost everyone and change your relationships and life.
Begin by taking turns with the people who are easiest for you – not the most hopeless or dangerous people, who would only drain or endanger you. When you pay enough attention, they will become personal and stop playacting and speeching – unless they are drunk or stoned.
Don’t compel people less powerful than you to listen to you. Just listen to them. They will tell you when they want to hear what you feel and think. Still, try not to talk to them about stuff that would shut them down or up.
Developing the following skills can help your listening:
- Seeing the good (optimism, appreciation)
- Shutting up, don’t interrupt (keep your clever analyses to yourself)
- A chance to talk (after being listened to, it’s easier to shut up)
However, the best tool is to shut up and pay attention, no matter what you feel, think or want. That will improve the whole above list as you go.
- Learn to listen, if you don’t already.
Check out tips from this TED talk.
- Learn again to talk, if you don’t already.
Check out ideas from this web site.
- Set out to advocate this dual approach.
Let me explain the last point. Listeners know, that it does not satisfy enough to only improve our own private circle of family, friends and acquaintances. Listeners are going to conquer the world – not by stealing it from anyone but by giving it to everyone. No one needs to be left behind.
And what about people who are good at bossing others around, spreading hatred, and making money from wars?
- Most bosses can be retrained to work together with people who know how to cooperate and how to lead based on the best of what each person in the group thinks. They’ll feel more relaxed.
- Most spreaders of hatred can be retrained to use their passion for love of others. They’ll feel happier.
- And most of the rich can regain security by focusing on connecting instead of hoarding. They’ll feel safer.
Giving everyone a vote is not enough. Give everyone a voice. It doesn’t get more political than that.
Good listeners also tend to be more honest than good speakers. That will change the face of politics!
And why do I blog this today? Because I had this call ready today. Isn’t it high time that someone said it?