Are you listening?

“A world where we don’t listen to each other at all is a very scary place indeed.” Julian Treasure.

When the little finger stands out all on its own, or topples off the palm, this is a sure indicator that the person is feeling isolated.
But so what?
How can hearing this be helpful?
Last Tuesday, during our monthly topic call on Speaking Up, Richard Unger added another layer to this conversation. Something that I think could really help a person turn this situation around. Richard said that a toppling pinkie is also an indicator that the person isn’t good at listening. (Makes sense, since the little finger is all about communication.)
toppling Mercury finger, isolation marker, poor listener,  pinkie falling off the cliff
My feeling is that these two conditions go hand in hand. Not being a good listener would certainly lead to more and more isolation. And herein lies the key. Becoming a better listener is a good way to end one’s isolation.
Because listening improves connection and understanding in relationships of all types, on all levels. So if your pinkie is toppling off the edge of your palm, or even if it isn’t, here’s some great advice from Julian Treasure.

A 7 minute video on 5 ways to listen better

Julian says we retain only 25% of what we hear, filtering out information unconsciously. Yet listening is what enables understanding. The more we lose our ability to listen, the more we risk misunderstanding, conflict and increased isolation.

5 simple tools

Whether or not we have this marker, we all need to improve our listening skills.
And a fun way to do this is through conscious listening.
Here are the 5 simple tools that Julian offers:
1. enjoy pure silence – at least 3 minutes a day
2. “the mixer” – in a noisy or complex environment try to identify individual sounds
3. “the hidden choir” – savour mundane sounds. For example, a tumble dryer.
4. Consciously move your “listening position” – for example from active to passive, critical to empathic, reductive to expansive….
5. RASA (the sanskrit word for “juice”). Remember this acronym.
And use it as a reminder to Receive, Appreciate, Summarise and Ask questions during any conversation.

“If every human learns to listen consciously we can transform this world to a world of
connection, a world of understanding and a world of peace.”
Julian Treasure.

2 thoughts on “Are you listening?

  1. Jack Reply

    I really admire the kind of knowledge you impart Jena. I wish I was in a situation like yours. Anyways, I believe that the secret of harmonious coexistence lies in this simple act of listening. Those who do, never run out of people when they themselves are in need.

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