One of the great human motivations is the desire to be taken seriously. We need people to stop, listen what we say and genuinely appreciate us.
If we don’t listen, we cannot help others. Disregarding or ignoring people hurts a great deal. It works against this most basic desire.
Even the comedian, though seeming to take a joke at their own expense, in some way wants their performance to have some kind of impact, once again, to be taken seriously.
The desire to be taken seriously can mean that we don’t always listen to others or provide appropriate feedback.
In my own case I give somewhat brief replies to emails that have come across as somewhat terse. The feeling I really have is one of economy of expression, which any C programmer may understand. Unfortunately not everyone understands or likes C….
The iPod music player has an interesting feature that can speed up a spoken podcast by a factor of 2 times. This is handy for getting past the advertisments quicker. Interestingly however I manage to absorb the ads regardless. Apparently although we can speak at 125 words a minute, yet can listen at 400 words a minute. So what’s happening in our heads in the intervening time?
Instead of listening properly we may spend time planning our next statement or comeback, which once again, is all about us being taken seriously, and not the other person. I’m sure you’ve been to meetings where the participants seem to be locked in a cycle of “grand standing”.
By truly listening we make others feel good, we feel good, we feel relaxed, we feel connected we can solve problems more effectively and we may even learn something new.
Really listening to people helps them feel they are being taken seriously. If we do this we can be taken seriously too.