As we reflect on the decade gone, it will be remembered as a decade of shouting. We talked more, we heard a lot but we listened less. Listening is a choice that many of us choose not to take. The new decade presents us with a unique opportunity to start afresh and listening to one another provides us with so much hope. Bringing us together, building trust and honesty and enabling every voice to be heard.
The past decade can be categorised as the decade of shouting. The explosion of social media platforms has fuelled a sense of having to display and portray your opinions in the most public settings. Social media originated from the power to connect people and give everyone a voice but in fact, it had just made us talk more and listen less.
Take the social media platform Twitter for example. It was once a place where people would share ideas and converse but now it has become a breeding ground for fake news, retweeting celebrities and fosters the idea that those who shout the loudest are heard the loudest. The culture at large is shouting and we are all partaking in it.
The business world places a heavy focus on presentation, what is said and how it is said. Everything is aimed towards how to better convey your point in a meeting or be more persuasive in a discussion. There is very little focus on actually listening. 2020 is the time for change and to start listening. We are not talking about hearing, the action of sound travelling through our ears. That, we can't turn off. But the actual conscious decision of listening, using our minds to understand and pay to attention to what is said, that is something we all need to start doing more often.
As a leader your listening skills are crucial to building trustworthy and fruitful relationships. How can you improve your techniques?
Francis from the African Professionals Network talks to Mentimeter about the benefits of using our tool in their meetings. Find out how Mentimeter enables participants to be heard and the presenter to listen and facilitate the audience's discussions.
Find out who needs some more work on their listening skills with this fun template where you can score yourself on your answers and find out your result at the end!Get template
― Alfred Brendel