One of the reasons I’ve been online less is because my time in real life has been wasted by the poor listening skills of others. Most of us have information overload and some tend to manage that by tuning out, interrupting others and jumping to conclusions. When we take a breath and let someone finish their sentences we might find they are wanting something different and going somewhere other than we thought.
In these fast-changing and chaotic times I find the need to step back from the rampaging agendas of others. Many think they’re brilliant multi-taskers but some are making increasingly glaring mistakes that are expensive, boring, painful and time-consuming to fix. There’s always been human error but whenever possible I’ve been opting out of doing business with people who simply don’t listen because I simply can’t trust them.
People sometimes complain to me about the economy and their business challenges. At first I just listen, not being called on for advice. When it goes on I gently ask what they’re planning to do about it. When it continues to be obvious that they don’t listen, I point that out once and then I’m done.
Sure lots of people don’t read the FAQ’s. There are people who want stuff without fair exchange, cheaters and takers; there are all sorts of reasons why clients and customers can be a pain. Often you might think you can spot them right away or immediately put them in some category based on a first impression. And you can be very wrong.
There are some businesses that are thriving and what I’ve noticed is that they tend to listen to what the client/customer is wanting. We are each unique people and often our concerns are nuanced, not some one-size-fits-all. Crappy customer service has been going on almost forever of course but it looks like the gap between those who can listen and those who are oblivious is widening temporarily.
The human race actually does evolve and we are becoming more telepathic. But we are all at different points on that spectrum and it isn’t happening gracefully or in a short period of time. I live in an urban area that isn’t densely populated. Several years ago, when people first began reading their phones while walking, I would get run off the sidewalk by people doing so as they wobbled and wove all over the place. It happens less often now as people are able to look at their phones, be somewhat aware of others moving on the sidewalk and even look up and nod or smile!
Hopefully communication will become more streamlined and people will give each other the chance to be heard and understood. In the meantime, I can’t run in place and wear myself out by struggling to communicate.
We all want to be relevant but if everyone is yelling out for attention, broadcasting their agendas repeatedly and behaving as though things they say and do don’t count unless a lot of people notice, like and applaud, how can anything get solved? Communication is not all meant to be a one-way street. This has all been said before but I’m astounded at the number of bewildered people who just don’t get that it isn’t all about them. And some of them are professionals in positions of responsibility. Many are blocking out the very things they say they want because they hear a snippet and think they’ve got the whole thing.
I wrote this post for myself. When I run into this communication challenge again in the real world, I’ll quickly think of this post and just walk away when possible. I rarely write posts like this or use tags like “life” or “business”. So if you’ve actually read this far, just know that my blog is usually about something you’re likely not interested in.