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Showing posts from August, 2012

Listening WRONG

Have you ever had an occasion when someone asked your opinion about something, and before you could finish responding, they cut you off?  Right smack-dab in the middle of your statement, they start talking like you haven't uttered a word.  Remember how frustrated you felt?  Maybe not the first time, but around the fourth or fifth time, you're done.  Either you're escaping the conversation physically or you've tuned out altogether.  After all, why do you have to contribute?  The individual seems to be having the conversation all by himself.  That's listening wrong.
     Listening wrong is not the same as misunderstanding what someone said or misinterpreting what you thought you heard.  That would require thought.  Most wrong listening comes as a result of not thinking about what's being said.  An example is trying to multitask while someone is talking to you.  Yesterday, I instructed my nine-year-old daughter to remove the lid from the pot if she should hea…

What It Means to Be C.R.A.S.S.

You've been around them.  Those people who make off-colored remarks, foul comments, crude statements without care or concern for whom they may be offending.  You know--generally acting like the last three letters in the word crass.  Which is how they are behaving.  Most think they're being witty.  Others are trying to get a rise out of those around them.  The immature think it makes them look bigger, badder, superior in some way to denigrate somebody else.  Men might refer to a woman's most intimate parts in mixed company to disrespect, intimidate or demean women.  Women might do the same thing for the same reasons except they are targeting one female in particular.  Or maybe they're just stupid and don't know it.  Whatever the motivation, being crass in communication doesn't work for anybody.  It serves absolutely no purpose other than to make the speaker look foolish.
    So what does it mean to be crass?  I use this acronym:  Communicating Repulsively A…

Listening Is a Choice

As a mom of two, I've grown very adept over the years in not listening.  Let's face it.  Most of what kids have to say is not nearly as important as what we need to hear.  As much as we want to be attentive to their every comment, we just can't.  Such is the case for adults as well.  We can't spend inordinate amounts of time listening to other people's comments, opinions, questions, and statements.  We have to find ways to decipher what's important on a whim so we can focus on priorities.  One big problem I experienced with not listening is that I tuned out so often that I tended to overlook the important stuff.  I had to re-program myself to tune back in.  The greatest lesson I learned is that listening is a choice.  I can choose which bits of information are pertinent at the time, which I should shelve for later, and which I can discard because it's useless.
     So--when should we choose to listen?  The short answer is always.  In order to determine…

Overcoming the Fear of Feedback

This past weekend, I attended a conference and experienced something I'd not witnessed before.  During the lunch at which a speaker was featured, the gentleman who was introducing the speaker took a bold step.  While delivering the introduction, the lunch time crowd grew a bit chatty and loud.  The gentleman, Ed, stopped what he was saying and allowed his silence to silence the crowd.  They got the message and quieted down.  He punctuated his point by stating, "Please allow me the opportunity to honor our speaker today by giving him a proper introduction.  I would appreciate it if you all remained quiet until I'm finished."  He got great approval from the people sitting around my table, and I was impressed with his candor.  Most often when I've witnessed this kind of behavior from an audience, the speaker usually tries to compete with the crowd by continuing to speak in hopes that they will hold themselves accountable or their peers would shush them.  Howeve…