In this 8-minute TED Talk by Julian Treasure, you can find 5 ways to develop your listening skills. And the best part is they are quite simple and straight forward.
Why develop your listening skills?
60% of our time is spent listening, but we only take in 25% of what we hear. This is a result of many things, such as:
- Recording – As records have been kept over thousands of years in writing and more recently audio and video, the premium on listening has just slowly disappeared.
- The noisy world – The world becoming increasingly noisy can make it really tiring to listen with so many sounds around us. Many take refuge in headphones to avoid this, but these actually turn soundscapes into sound bubbles where no one is listening to anybody.
- Impatience – We live in a world of sound bites, rather than an oratory world.
Sound places us in space and time, and conscious listening creates understanding. The less we all listen, the more dangerous the world can become. You only have to think of the many conflicts of the world where this plays out.
How to develop your listening skills
Julian shares 5 ways to improve them. Here they are:
Just 3 minutes of silence each day enable your years to reset and recalibrate. If silence is unachievable, then aim for quiet time. This will still achieve the desired outcomes.
At different times in the day, explore how many different channels of sound you can hear. This enable you to tune into the world around you. It can be the close sounds, the far away sounds, the quiet sounds, the loud sounds and everything in between.
Is the joy in engaging with mundane sounds. This is what Julian calls “the hidden choir”. Everyday sounds can be really interesting if you start to pay really close attention to them. An example from Julian is the sound of a washing machine that he hears as a waltz.
This refers to playing with the different filters with which we listen trough. Using them as levers to develop your listening skills. Some examples being:
- Active | Passive
- Reductive | Expansive
- Critical | Empathetic
Julian shares that this acronym is especially good for leaders, teachers, spouses, parents and friends. Which in truth is basically most people.
- Receive – paying attention
- Appreciate – this little understanding noises and nods etc.
- Summarise – Responding with a, “So….”
- Ask – asking questions form what you’ve just heard
Listening is a skill that is vital to all of us. We highly recommend watching the TED Talk to delve deeper on developing your listening skills:
Want to watch more educational content that we believe is worth checking out. Find them all here.