Monday, December 15, 2014

Talking Without Listening

Time and time again, I see just how disconnected we are becoming as a human species.  Communication is poor at best and yet, we have all these communication devices to help us stay in touch.  It is really sad to watch if you sit back and take it all in.

Listening is the key skill that we've missed.  I see so many talk without listening.  Its like everyone has more on their mind of what to say, than to spend a split second listening.  Everyone has their minds running at such a fast rate and their nervous system pumped up as if it was on steroids, only to skip the part of listening to another person.

The past week I saw this happen so many times, it almost made my head completely spin around.  Talking without listening was at every corner I turned.  I remember the one lady in a Fedex office that didn't even know what I was trying to do, but she was already giving me an answer.  I remember the support person on the phone that started telling me what I needed to do, long before they were aware of what the situation was.

The examples are numerous.  We spend our days and moments communicating through pretty pictures on social media and soundbites on the news.  We tweet a 140 character message to others and yet the message says almost nothing.  We text someone a message and that becomes a one-on-one conversation of connection with another human.

I see emails come through in my job all the time that have absolutely no communication skills in them.  The emails are written with flowery words that I am sure took much time to create, but at the end of the day, you can barely make heads or tails of what is being said.  It is almost like the intent is to type something in an email, but yet not say anything.

When I was a kid and I would get home from school, my dad would leave us notes of chores he expected done by the time he got home.  Most of the time, they were illegible and so you had to decipher what the words were.  Once you deciphered the words, then you had to figure out what was meant by the note because most of the time, it was so ambiguous that you barely knew what he expected.  Of course, you had only a short time to figure this out and get things done before my dad would get home.  If things were not done, all hell would break loose upon us.

Communication is essential to the human connection.  It is hard enough to get the recipient to understand what you are trying to say, let alone do a half attempt at communicating and then expecting the same.  Communication is the key to helping people understand what it is that you know or that is important.  It is the key to communicating not only our feelings and emotions for one another, but our respect, adoration and connection to another.

If we keep talking without listening in our world, we will keep losing our human interactions that are supposedly so dear to us in our day.  If we value other people as we say we do, then we need to work hard on how we communicate with others.  Communication is the key to our human connections because without words, we would be nothing more than silent faces to one another.

Blog Post And Images (c) 11/24/14 by Don Shetterly

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