“Pay less attention to the words that people say and greater attention to their tone of voice, the look in their eye, their body language—all signals that might reveal a nervousness or excitement that is not expressed verbally. If you can get people to become emotional, they will reveal a lot more. Cutting off your interior monologue and paying deep attention, you will pick up cues from them that will register with you as feelings or sensations. Trust these sensations—they are telling you something that you will often tend to ignore because it is not easy to verbalize.” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery
“Wherever I meet people, I always have the feeling that I am encountering another human being, just like myself. I find it is much easier to communicate with others on that level. If we emphasize specific characteristics, like I am Tibetan or I am Buddhist, then there are differences. But those things are secondary. If we can leave the differences aside, I think we can easily communicate, exchange ideas, and share experiences.” ~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness
“If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? What good might come out of telling them now?” ~ Gregory Stock, The Book of Questions
“People don’t believe what you tell them. They rarely believe what you show them. They often believe what their friends tell them. They always believe what they tell themselves.” ~ Seth Godin, Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?
The following is an excerpt from The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck.
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For true listening, no matter how brief, requires tremendous effort.
First of all, it requires total concentration. You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time. If a parent wants to truly listen to a child, the parent must put aside everything else. The time of true listening must be devoted solely to the child; it must be the child’s time. If you are not willing to put aside everything, including your own worries and preoccupations for such a time, then you are not willing to truly listen.
Second, the effort required for total concentration on the words of a six-year-old child is considerably greater than that required for listening to a great lecturer. The child’s speech patterns are uneven – occasional rushes of words interspersed with pauses and repetitions – which makes concentration difficult. Then the child will usually be talking of matters that have no inherent interest for the adult, whereas the great lecturer’s audience is specifically interested in the topic of his speech.
In other words, it is dull to listen to a six-year-old, which makes it doubly difficult to keep concentration focused. Consequently truly listening to a child of this age is a real labor of love. Without love to motivate the parent it couldn’t be done.
But why bother?
“For true listening, no matter how brief, requires tremendous effort. You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” ~ Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled
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Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who was painfully boring and seemed to drone on forever? You were probably looking at your watch, frantically trying to figure out how to get away. Obviously, there was no connection present. Moments of strong connection, in contrast, are so pleasurable that we lose all track of time.
So how do we spark connection in a conversation? We have to play Ping-Pong.
“Communication is merely an exchange of information, but connection is an exchange of our humanity.” ~ Sean Stephenson, Get Off Your “But”
“The first rule of focus is this: ’Wherever you are, be there.’” ~ Unknown
I see people trying to multi-task in an effort to get things done – faster.
Whereas in reality, what I really see happening is work getting done slower and in a more half-assed manner.
…Unless, of course, we’re talking about ‘multi-tasking’ one task that requires no active thought and only one task that does (i.e. walking and talking).
But that’s not what I’m talking about.
I’m talking about the kind of multi-tasking that’s done in the name of ‘productivity‘ and ‘efficiency.’
The kind of multi-tasking where you try and ‘simultaneously‘ do two tasks that require active thought at the same time. Continue reading