Thursday, 20 June 2013

About Listening

Let's throw in a controversial topic once in a while.

And, while we are at it, write about it in a controversial way.

The lower in the social pecking order, the more quickly a person speaks.

Yes, one never stops being amazed about what kind of studies are being conducted out there. I heard about it from a wise man. Or the Cosmopolitan, I don't remember.

The reason given: our low-pecking-order-person is used to not being listened to. Or with less interest. Or only at a reception, while you're on the way to a really interesting person.

Ergo, he has to deliver his message as quick as possible.

If Obama says: "It rains", it will be seen as a pearl of wisdom. Our low-pecking-order-person though can actually deliver a pearl of wisdom - and it will not be seen as such. For sure he is repeating something he overheard. Or he has it from a tabloid. Or, worse, 'he is only trying to make himself interesting'.

Behind every stand-up comedian sits a child that felt never to get attention. He had to attack the shield of those around him.
Unfortunately, this talking has the opposite effect: it will make the quick talker less popular. Make him or her sink further in the pecking order.

You might have experienced it yourself. Driving back home after a reception or party, telling to your spouse: "I like this or that man. He had such... class".

Well, if you break it down to why you felt he had class, you might realise... he was just an attentive listener.

For even if we are not aware of it, subconsciously we do classify people according to their talking habits. Using a hyperbole: talking is low class, listening high class.

Surely, talking is for stand-up comedians? Any person with a little bit of importance is interviewed. And if you're really, really important, then people will hang on to your lips, even if you organize a coffee break in between every word?

See Obama or a king or a celebrity meet 'common people'; is he enthusiastically telling about how great his job is? The heck he is. He is listening.

What was it again, what Dale Carnegie wrote, his six ways to make people like you?

1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
2. Smile.
3. Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
Talk in terms of the other person's interests.
6. M
ake the other person feel important - and do it sincerely.

Talking is bronze, talking interestingly silver, and listening gold.



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