Forgetting How to Listen

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5 Ways to Listen Better (

In this world, we become so overstimulated that we begin to close our ears against the noise. We are in such a hurry that we don’t take sufficient time to really HEAR people when we communicate. Oftentimes, with recording technology, it isn’t necessary to pay attention. There are so many things going on that we become desensitized to the headlines, so media is sometimes forced to dramatize events to get our attention. Of the 60%  communication time that we regularly spend listening, we manage to retain, on average, only 25% of it. That 25% is anything but random; we look for patterns (like our name) and we use a series of filters and biases. The term “selective listening” comes to mind.

This was the topic of Julian Treasure’s July 2011 TED conference speech. He concludes with tips to improve conscious listening, the type of listening that aids in communication and understanding.

The 5 tips: (1) practice silence, (2) distinguish strains/pick apart the noise, (3) savor every day sounds, (4) change your listening filter/perspective,  (5) practice RASA (Receive Appreciate Summarize Ask).