Please see below selected recent listening-related change.
- Building strong relationships largely comes down to how we listen to others. And while not all of us are naturally gifted listeners, we can improve with practice. A UC Santa Barbara psychology professor recommends we break the process down into three core steps. To start with, we can pay active, silent attention to what others are saying. Next, we can repeat what we have heard in our own words, making sure we understand what's been said (even if we don't agree). And finally, we can ask open-ended questions, the kind that can't be answered with a yes or no and demonstrate that we are processing what we've heard.
- Reports revealed that contractors had reviewed voice recordings for Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant. Whistleblowers revealed they had overheard private discussions between doctors and patients, sexual encounters, business deals and more. The voice assistants in our homes, cars and pockets were often summoned accidentally, and although anonymous, these revelations confirmed a common fear shared by many in today’s interconnected, always-on society... that maybe, someone really is always listening in on us, claimed the Future Today Institute (FTI).
- Smart speakers, audio recorders built into our various gadgets, digital phone assistants and a host of advanced AI technologies means we often come into contact with persistent audio surveillance systems. This is especially true in public areas. China has already deployed networks of speakers that eavesdrop on conversations to extract meaning. In 2018, Walmart patented technology to listen in on the interactions between store guests and employees, as well as ambient noise: clothing being moved on and off racks, items being selected from shelves, and the clicking sounds we make on our mobile devices. All of this noise can be used to hunt for insights, added FTI, warning that under a worst-case scenario big tech and consumer device industries would collect and store our conversations surreptitiously, anonymise and sell it to developers who would then allow others access to our voice data: business intelligence firms, market research agencies, polling agencies, political parties and individual law enforcement organisations. Consumers would have little to no ability to see and understand how their voice data are being used and by whom.
- The Art of Deep Listening argued that, despite the fact that 55% of our time is spent listening, deep listening is a skill that only 2% of people really grasp. The book argues that we can practice and apply deep listening, and doing so can prevent miscommunications and their effects in the workplace such as job turnover and lost sales.
- Forbes warned that the digital world is no longer about expanding our own horizons by learning from others with different experiences and expertise and engaging in two-way debate and thoughtful dialog. It is merely a place for us to speak to the world and leave without listening. How is this shift from listening to talking changing our world? Accustomed to quietly listening to others all their lives, the digital citizenry were in an instant all handed megaphones and told to scream out anything and everything that popped into their heads. Perhaps then the most important question of our digital future is how we might learn to briefly stop talking and start listening once again.
- It’s widely known that the most successful communicators are the ones who listen effectively. Yet so many today are listening only to hear for the break in the conversation that gives them their turn to talk. That is not a recipe for success personally or professionally. The skill of listening takes practice and is not always intuitive. The goal of a business is to reach as many potential customers as possible and share your message as many times as they’ll let you. This leads many entrepreneurs to craft their brand and their message based solely on what they want to say, not what they’ve actually heard from the marketplace. One entrepreneur even told Forbes that he believes the listening deficiency that’s "plaguing" the entrepreneurial community stems from the "massively overhyped idea of branding".
- Many professional people like to have their voice heard, to get a seat at the top table. While it can be important to create situations in which to hear and understand decisions directly, they should not overlook the importance of simply listening. Listening and communicating what they hear, and what they don’t hear, can help move teams and entire organisations forward.
- Along with speaking, reading, and writing, listening is one of the "four skills" of language learning. All language teaching approaches, except for grammar translation, incorporate a listening component.
- In business and elsewhere, there is an increasing focus on active listening, which means listening to what someone is saying, and attempting to understand what is being said. The listener is attentive, non-judgemental and non-interrupting. An active listener analyser what the speaker is saying for hidden messages, and meanings contained in the verbal communication. An active listener looks for non-verbal messages from the speaker in order to indicate the full meaning of what is being said.
- Every time people talk to devices like Google Assistant, there's a chance someone might listen to the audio from that conversation, meaning that tech companies record, save, and transmit voice data in a way that can be accessed by actual people. So much for privacy, warned Inc.
- Something has gone wrong with the flow of information, warned Aeon. It’s not just that different people are drawing subtly different conclusions from the same evidence. It seems like different intellectual communities no longer share basic foundational beliefs. Maybe nobody cares about the truth anymore, as some have started to worry. Maybe political allegiance has replaced basic reasoning skills. Maybe we’ve all become trapped in echo chambers of our own making - wrapping ourselves in an intellectually impenetrable layer of likeminded friends and web pages and social media feeds.
- Further reading:
- Active listening, argued The School of Life (TSOL), recognises that our ideas, memories and concerns don’t have to fall into neat, well-formed sentences. We are allowed to stumble and get confused. But the active listener contains and gardens the emerging confusion. They gently take us back over ground we’d covered too fast and prompt us to address a salient point we might deftly have sidestepped; they will help us chip away at an agitating issue while continually reassuring us that what we are saying is valuable. All the while, they will note minor changes in our facial expressions and tone of voice. They will be interested in the way we choose our words, and attentive not only to what we actually express but to how we might otherwise have put it.