What you hear when you actually listen

Linda LaitalaBusiness, ManagementLeave a Comment


I was in St. Louis a couple weeks ago attending a conference.  As I waited in line for a lunch table I listened to the conversations around me.  What I heard made me realize that we live in a world of divergence.  People seemed to either totally agree on a topic or totally disagree.  There wasn’t much discussion or exchange of ideas – only “yes or no”, “right or wrong”, “crap or gospel”.   
We see this happening in politics, business, religion, entertainment and even in science (companies who build power lines across forests are the devil, people who protect wildlife are saviors – or vice versa).
One of the reasons this may be happening is we don’t talk with people anymore, we talk AT them.  We tend to deal in messages (voice mails, texts, emails) not communication.
We listen to sound bites on the news and read headlines in the newspaper (or online).
We don’t seem to be discussing issues or mixing with people who have differing opinions or even actually listening to an opposing point of view on a topic.  We just check in on the surface and hang out around people who agree with us.
Every issue doesn’t hold a principal to die for and one person’s taste isn’t true doctrine.  It’s just one person’s taste.
Wouldn’t it be nice if most of life’s issues could be on a dimmer switch instead of an “on/off” switch and we actually spent time conversing and listening to people who have opinions different from our own?  Think of what we could learn.

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