August 01, 2011

Improve your listening


like to interrupt. That’s not a good thing. I think the essence of the problem is that I always think that I’m right. Perhaps I interrupt because I simply assume my rightness. Or, at a more sinister level, perhaps I interrupt because I’m afraid that in listening to someone else I will have to give up my firmly held beliefs and engage my brain on a new journey of discovery. I’m not sure which of those two reasons is true but probably both of them are in play at different levels throughout the day.

Not a good thing.

My friend, Diane, pointed me toward Ted Talks—a wonderful collection of short lectures and presentations given by some of the world’s leading thinkers in myriad disciplines. I subscribe to the Ted Talks podcast and have greatly enjoyed these talks over the year or so since Diane introduced me to them.

The current Ted Talks presentation is on listening—something I need to get much better at. Here it is:


  1. Donna Inanen8/06/2011 5:35 PM

    I am reminded of an old book (1960) by Taylor Caldwell entitled The Listener. It's about 15 people who go to the "Listener" - the ultimate, perfect Listener - and encounter Christ. I think it says something about the silence of God, too, that is not to be mistaken for the absence of God.

  2. Very interesting. I think he was a little off base in his conclusion (if we teach school children to listen better, we'll have world peace), but his observations and recommendations were very thought provoking.
    Thanks for sharing this, Rich! :)

  3. I'm glad you liked this, A. Kay. I agree that his conclusion was a bit off but I think he was going more for provocation at that point than accuracy. He had already laid out some really great stuff. I love Ted Talks even though I often disagree. They always make me think.


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