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Showing posts from March, 2017

How to Listen Without Judgment

Choosing to listen while in a conversation is not a passive effort.  Making the choice is an action that is thoughtful and vital to the life of that communication.  To listen well requires concentration.  It requires tuning in and removing distractions that compete for the listener's attention.  As much as we know this, it is difficult to do.  Many of the distractions that cause us to tune in and out several times in a given conversation come from within our own minds.  We have this constant murmur of chatter going on underneath the discussion in which we're engaged.  While someone is speaking, we're responding to their comments silently; formulating opinions in our minds that we can't wait to share.  We're not totally listening; we're just waiting to reply.  Even worse, in some cases, we're not even permitting the speaker to finish their thought.  We interrupt with our often not-so-well-thought-out opinions.
     Of course not every conversation requ…

Why Controversial Discussions on Social Media Don't Work

We've all seen heated discussions on social media regarding everything from political views to personal attacks when someone feels they've been wronged.  Notwithstanding the trolls whose main intent is to get a rise out of people by spewing hate, we should keep in mind that the idea behind social media is to be just that--social.  Anything outside of that is antisocial.  Here's why:
     First, social media is about connecting to other people.  It's about building and strengthening relationships through shared opinions, interests, and friendships.  Even when "friends" don't share the same views, this medium is not designed to drive a wedge between them.  When you see this occurring, don't participate.  You're misusing the medium.  Healthy debate where no one gets "unfriended" is fine.  Arguing is not.  Be considerate though, and try not to post anything that would offend others.
     Second, social media is not a place to have a le…