The reason humans find it so hard to be good listeners is beautifully explained in today’s NYTimes,”The Science and Art of Listening,” a piece by Seth Horowitz, an auditory neuroscientist at Brown University. Potential distractions flood your ears every fifty-thousandth of a second to alert you to possible dangers so it’s tough to keep your focus on what you are listening to, Horowitz notes. Indeed, listening tunes our brains to our surroundings faster than any other sense. How’s that for an excuse the next time someone says, “You never listen to me.” Horowitz, author of “The Universal Sense: How Hearing Shapes the Mind,” does offer some hope, however. We can train ourselves to be better listeners by listening to the sounds under the words, the emotions. Such listening is the first critical step to powerful communication. I’m taking it on with the next conversation I have. How about you?
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