When we talk we share knowledge
when we listen we learn
For me, going out for diner is a cultural event. I love to see the connection between people on other tables; the different conversations in groups, the focussed conversations between business men, the non conversations between couples, or -like last night the twittering conversation between a group of women. (Twitter is a real good name for that medium) the ladies just talked, almost all at the same time and didn’t seem to expect an answer. To me it looked like nobody was listening to what the other said.
It triggered me and I realised that there’s a difference between hearing and listening; Hearing is the physical part of listening, listening is the psychological part or the part where the brain comes in.
I looked up some facts for you;
– Only a quarter from what you hear will be heard.
– By listening you show interest in a person; you show interest/respect in the words someone says and the thoughts (s)he has.
– Listening is part of communication; only when there is a speaker AND a listener you can have a conversation and a connection between two people.
– You can listen to -4X more- words then speak, which means that there is space in your head for other thoughts, like how to react. As soon as you’re thinking about how to react you get busy; remembering how to react and waiting for the time you can put in your reacting. You’ll be so busy, you forget to listen to the rest of what’s being said.
– In some languages listening is another word of obeying, like when parents say to the children “you’re not listening to me” they actual mean you’re not obeying me.
– Most people seem to like talking specially about themselves much more than listening.
It’s hard for me to believe that those ladies last night had a conversation, yet there must be a form of communication and sharing some information. Sometimes it has to do with the language, in some languages the most import information of a sentence is given in the beginning of the sentence, so you can start thinking without really missing any information. I think I would like that too. On the other hand, people will never get heard or have the feeling of being listened to and – valued.
Now, knowing how hard it is to listen, even in your own language and in your own culture. I realise how much miscommunication must occur when having a conversation with someone in another language and culture.
I like to challenge you to really listen to somebody else; repeat after your partner has finished speaking what (s)he said. and then focus on the answer you like to give.
I would love to hear your experiences.