Do You Listen or Look the Other Way?

  • One of the reasons people are not good at listening is because they do not listen.
  • Ironically people who talk the most get listened to the least; their mindless chatter yields very little value.
  • There's nothing worse than having a conversation with people and feeling like you are the only person involved.
  • When you want people to listen to you, you have to be authentic, honest and self-confident.

Listening, rather than simply half hearing what is said and giving a stock answer – how common is this scenario? “Right…” “Uh-huh…” “Eh…” These stock replies indicate people aren’t interested in listening. This is essentially how life goes. People don’t want to listen because they only care about themselves; hyper-selfishness, especially in current generation. The limits of the human attention span can interfere with listening, but listeners and speakers can use strategies to prevent this interference.

What if an important family member doesn’t listen to you?

Many complain that people consistently ignore or don’t listen to them. The immediate reaction is usually ‘I can’t engage in a conversation with them; they have revealed their true color, I will simply cut them out of my life. Dead wood is dead weight and only clutters my life – “Defending” or “Ghosting” and walking away from people. Sometimes in Life we have to make choices about who we surround ourselves with. “Ghosting provides an escape from facing our own discomforts, however, we are stunting our own growth by not facing challenging situations” – Dr. Joanna Petrides.

What if an important family member doesn’t listen to you? Narcissism is rife in human interaction. It is not personal. Focus back on yourself, self care and get on with your life. French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre famously quipped that “Hell is other people.”  Whether or not Sartre’s dour observation is true, we often treat good advice like it comes from a devil.

Office Management usually looks the other way and ignores ‘employees’ complaints’ of not being listened to! Most managers and business owners have had the displeasure of dealing with an employee who failed to follow instructions.

“Dealing with colleagues who don’t listen is both hard and frustrating,” says Sabina Nawaz, a global CEO and executive coach. “When someone is not fully present, it erodes the quality of what you say.”

As much as 55% of our day is spent listening, and yet only 2% of us have any training in listening, according to author Oscar Trimboli. When people don’t listen to small things what would make them listen to the bigger things? Many Government department employees generally develop a pattern where they will mind their own business and look the other way. It is infuriating but true; maybe because they’re bored after doing the same routine thing for so long, so when they speak, they already have a rote answer even if you have explained clearly. Even if you say something concise, these bureaucrats may come back with a non thought out answer that is contrary or down right inane to the topic…just rant!

People resist change, because the situation is working for them at the moment, there is no motivation to change; the common phrase -”I will do so when “I am ready” – it is a statement indicating passive-aggressive resistance. It’s simply an excuse to get you off their back. You can feel a bit lost when someone close to you needs help but doesn’t want to accept it.

Some people are self-occupied-interrupting you, walking away or pulling out their phone as you speak.

Some don’t take advice. They hear everything told to them, retain the information but don’t want to follow a suggestion. Here’s a word of warning from Harvard Business School researchers: Disregarding advice from colleagues could invite harsh backlash that just might damage valued workplace relationships, according to the recent paper Seeker Beware: The Interpersonal Costs of Ignoring Advice, published in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

Some have limited patience and only listen just enough to gauge the broad stokes. These people are self-occupied-interrupting you, walking away or pulling out their phone as you speak. When you call them out of it, they don’t even realize they’ve tuned you out. They apologize. But continue to chronically do it. The mere presence of a phone in front of two people trying to have a conversation can distract them both. With a device in sight, the brain anticipates a potential disruption–and focusing gets even harder when the task at hand is more cognitively challenging than just talking.

Good listening isn’t something that we should limit to authority figures. It’s something you can do with everyone you encounter: your friends, your family, significant others, new people in your life – and even yourself. “I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.” —Larry King.

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Madhavi Vudayagiri

Writing and reading has always been my hobby. I write articles and blogs. I choose content and subject that is contemporary and diverse. I strive to write good prose. Having been in the field of teaching, studying people is what I do best. Creative writing is my forte, in order to hone my creative gene, I acquired a diploma in creative writing. I love to probe people's minds and try and understand their thought process. This website seems to be just what I am looking for!

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