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jerryking : listening   49

You’re Not Paying Attention, but You Really Should Be
July 14, 2019 | The New York Times | By Tim Herrera.

I called up Rob Walker, author of “The Art of Noticing.” In his book, Mr. Walker writes: “To stay eager, to connect, to find interest in the everyday, to notice what everybody else overlooks — these are vital skills and noble goals. They speak between looking and seeing, between hearing and listening, between accepting what the world presents and noticing what matters to you.”.... it’s just about trying to carve out and give yourself permission to have this time where you’re tuning into things, listening to your own curiosity and seeing where that leads you,”......Record 10 metaphor-free observations about the world this week. This is deceptively simplistic: Who couldn’t look at 10 things this week and write them down? The trick is the no metaphors hook. You’re just noticing, not comparing, analyzing or referencing. You’re forced to slow down and truly contemplate the world around you, rather than passively breezing through it.

Remember: It’s looking vs. seeing. Hearing vs. listening. Accepting what the world presents vs. noticing what matters to you.

“There’s nothing more important than the stuff you notice that no one else does,” Mr. Walker said. “That’s where every single innovation begins; that’s where all creativity begins. It’s honoring what you notice, what you tune into and what you care about.”
attention  books  focus  listening  mindfulness  overstimulation  pay-attention  noticing  Slow_Movement 
12 weeks ago by jerryking
‘I Wish You Bad Luck,’ He Said With Good Intentions
Dec. 28, 2017 | WSJ | By Bob Greene.

In Spring 2017, Chief Justice John Roberts delivered a commencement address to his son's grade 9 graduation ceremony that offered a universal lesson about the value to be found in generosity of spirit. Roberts prepared the advice offered in his speech specifically for the commencement address, as he set out to reflect upon “some of the harsh realities that everyone will face in the course of a full life,” and how to anticipate them and learn from them....His speech was structured in pairs.....He told his audience that commencement speakers will typically “wish you good luck and extend good wishes to you. I will not do that, and I’ll tell you why.

“From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice.

“I hope that you will suffer betrayal, because that will teach you the importance of loyalty.

“Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted.

“I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life, and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either.

“And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship.

“I hope you’ll be ignored so that you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion.

“Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.”

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Also,......“Once a week, you should write a note to someone. Not an email. A note on a piece of paper. It will take you exactly 10 minutes.” Then, Roberts urged, put the note in an envelope and send it off the old way: via the mail.

The handwritten note, he said, might express appreciation for someone who has helped you out or treated you with kindness, and who may not know how grateful you are.........here’s a toast to bad luck, and to its hidden gifts. First, though, the corner mailbox awaits. Gratitude is priceless, but conveying it costs no more than a postage stamp.
advice  betrayals  chance  commencement  compassion  counterintuitive  failure  friendships  gratitude  handwritten  inspiration  John_Roberts  judges  justice  life_skills  listening  loyalty  luck  pairs  speeches  sportsmanship  teachable_moments  tough_love  U.S._Supreme_Court  values 
may 2019 by jerryking
The Art of Statistics by David Spiegelhalter
May 6, 2019 | Financial Times | Review by Alan Smith.

The Art of Statistics, by Sir David Spiegelhalter, former president of the UK’s Royal Statistical Society and current Winton professor of the public understanding of risk at the University of Cambridge.

The comparison with Rosling is easy to make, not least because Spiegelhalter is humorously critical of his own field which, by his reckoning, has spent too much time arguing with itself over “the mechanical application of a bag of statistical tools, many named after eccentric and argumentative statisticians”.

His latest book, its title,
books  book_reviews  charts  Communicating_&_Connecting  data  data_journalism  data_scientists  Hans_Rosling  listening  massive_data_sets  mathematics  statistics  visualization 
may 2019 by jerryking
Want to Seem More Likable? Try This
Sept. 23, 2018 | The New York Times | By Tim Herrera.

There’s an easy way to simultaneously coming off as more likable while working to build a deeper, more genuine connection with someone: Ask questions.

A study published last year in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology analyzed getting-to-know-you conversations between platonic conversation partners, along with face-to-face speed-dating conversations, and found that in both settings “people who ask more questions, particularly follow-up questions, are better liked by their conversation partners.” (It even led to an increase in second dates among the speed-daters.)

Those follow-up questions, the study found, are especially helpful to increase how much we are liked because they show that we are listening sincerely and trying to show we care.
Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  howto  ice-breakers  likeability  questions  listening  5_W’s  second-order  small_talk  follow-up_questions 
september 2018 by jerryking
TED talks without the ego
August 14, 2017| Financial Times | Harriet Fitch Little.

Sincerely X is a new podcast from TED that leaves no space for grandstanding.
Here, speakers are anonymous. They deliver their talks in a studio with only Cohen, the host, as audience....Whatever the mind game at play, it may be time to ditch the adage that hard stories need a "human face" -- an anonymous voce can apparently do the same job, and better.....But ultimately, this podcast is distinguished by a seriousness that sometimes seems to elude speakers on the TED stage, for whom viral fame is so tantalizingly close at hand.....ideas worth spreading.
TED  conferences  anonymity  listening  podcasts  ideas  curators  intimacy  audio  seriousness 
august 2017 by jerryking
Rick Levin on Moving From the Ivy League to Silicon Valley
APRIL 14, 2017 | The New York Times | By ADAM BRYANT.

One skill that I improved on gradually was listening. If you want to understand people, you need to hear them. If you have to say “no” to people, it’s helpful to be able to explain authentically that I understood you, but here’s my decision. You have to see the nonverbal cues, too, and think a little deeper about what the person is saying. Often that’s situational or contextual, and sometimes it’s deeply psychological.

Humility is also important, and it has to be really genuine. You see a lot of C.E.O.s who are very egocentric, domineering people who succeed just because they have a great idea. But people who put the organization and mission first are more likely to succeed than people who put themselves first. People admire that kind of person and they resonate with them because they share a belief.

A good leader has to have some vision, too — ambitious goals to lift the organization up and everybody with it. Setting goals that are ambitious but also achievable is an important skill.
CEOs  Coursera  Yale  Silicon_Valley  nonverbal  say_"no"  leaders  listening  humility  mission-driven 
april 2017 by jerryking
Lessons in listening | Evernote Web
February 6, 2016 | Financial Times | Simon Kuper

(1) Ask people about themselves. Actually listen.
(2) Banish the idea that the person you're listening to is boring and predictable.
(3) Shut up!!!!!
(4) Make an encouraging remark or ask for elucidation.
(5) Allow silences to exist/occur.
(6) Ask questions
(7) A consultant who, instead of telling clients what he has to offer, usually asks them, "what's top of mind?"....[they respond]...[you counter with] "it so happens that we've for just the product for that".
(8) If folks are truly boring, get them to talk about their lives.
(9). Seduce. Ask people, "so what do you think we should change around here?"
Simon_Kuper  listening  howto  dating  questions  management_consulting  prospecting 
february 2016 by jerryking
The Republicans’ Incompetence Caucus - The New York Times
OCT. 13, 2015 | NYT | David Brooks.

The Republican Party’s capacity for effective self-governance degraded slowly, over the course of a long chain of rhetorical excesses, mental corruptions and philosophical betrayals. Basically, the party abandoned traditional conservatism for right-wing radicalism. Republicans came to see themselves as insurgents and revolutionaries, and every revolution tends toward anarchy and ends up devouring its own.
By traditional definitions, conservatism stands for intellectual humility, a belief in steady, incremental change, a preference for reform rather than revolution, a respect for hierarchy, precedence, balance and order, and a tone of voice that is prudent, measured and responsible. Conservatives of this disposition can be dull, but they know how to nurture and run institutions....Over the past 30 years, or at least since Rush Limbaugh came on the scene, the Republican rhetorical tone has grown ever more bombastic, hyperbolic and imbalanced....Politics is the process of making decisions amid diverse opinions. It involves conversation, calm deliberation, self-discipline, the capacity to listen to other points of view and balance valid but competing ideas and interests.

But this new Republican faction regards the messy business of politics as soiled and impure. Compromise is corruption. Inconvenient facts are ignored. Countrymen with different views are regarded as aliens. Political identity became a sort of ethnic identity, and any compromise was regarded as a blood betrayal.
David_Brooks  GOP  conservatism  political_polarization  partisan_warfare  Tea_Party  dysfunction  root_cause  Rush_Limbaugh  radicalization  mindsets  messiness  politics  compromise  rhetoric  listening  self-discipline  conversations  partisanship 
october 2015 by jerryking
The Mind of Marc Andreessen - The New Yorker
MAY 18, 2015 | New Yorker | BY TAD FRIEND.

Doug Leone, one of the leaders of Sequoia Capital, by consensus Silicon Valley’s top firm, said, “The biggest outcomes come when you break your previous mental model. The black-swan events of the past forty years—the PC, the router, the Internet, the iPhone—nobody had theses around those. So what’s useful to us is having Dumbo ears.”* A great V.C. keeps his ears pricked for a disturbing story with the elements of a fairy tale. This tale begins in another age (which happens to be the future), and features a lowborn hero who knows a secret from his hardscrabble experience. The hero encounters royalty (the V.C.s) who test him, and he harnesses magic (technology) to prevail. The tale ends in heaping treasure chests for all, borne home on the unicorn’s back....Marc Andreessen is tomorrow’s advance man, routinely laying out “what will happen in the next ten, twenty, thirty years,” as if he were glancing at his Google calendar. He views his acuity as a matter of careful observation and extrapolation, and often invokes William Gibson’s observation “The future is already here—it’s just not very evenly distributed.”....Andreessen applies a maxim from his friend and intellectual sparring partner Peter Thiel, who co-founded PayPal and was an early investor in LinkedIn and Yelp. When a reputable venture firm leads two consecutive rounds of investment in a company, Andreessen told me, Thiel believes that that is “a screaming buy signal, and the bigger the markup on the last round the more undervalued the company is.” Thiel’s point, which takes a moment to digest, is that, when a company grows extremely rapidly, even its bullish V.C.s, having recently set a relatively low value on the previous round, will be slightly stuck in the past. The faster the growth, the farther behind they’ll be....When a16z began, it didn’t have even an ersatz track record to promote. So Andreessen and Horowitz consulted on tactics with their friend Michael Ovitz, who co-founded the Hollywood talent agency Creative Artists Agency, in 1974. Ovitz told me that he’d advised them to distinguish themselves by treating the entrepreneur as a client: “Take the long view of your platform, rather than a transactional one. Call everyone a partner, offer services the others don’t, and help people who aren’t your clients. Disrupt to differentiate by becoming a dream-execution machine.”
Marc_Andreessen  Andreessen_Horowitz  Silicon_Valley  transactional_relationships  venture_capital  vc  Peter_Thiel  long-term  far-sightedness  Sequoia  mindsets  observations  partnerships  listening  insights  Doug_Leone  talent_representation  CAA  mental_models  warning_signs  signals  beforemath  unevenly_distributed  low_value  extrapolations  acuity  professional_service_firms  Michael_Ovitz  execution  William_Gibson 
may 2015 by jerryking
Cisco’s CEO on Staying Ahead of Technology Shifts - HBR
John Chambers
FROM THE MAY 2015 ISSUE

Mr. Chambers said that customers are the best indicators of when to make investments in new technology. “That’s one reason I spend so much time listening to CIOs, CTOs, and CEOs during sales calls,”
HBR  Cisco  anticipating  ksfs  transitions  indicators  market_intelligence  John_Chambers  IBM  layoffs  CEOs  market_windows  disruption  customer_relationships  sales_calls  CIOs  CTOs  listening 
may 2015 by jerryking
The network effect
Jan 19th, 2015 | Comments to article in the Economist by guest-smamejj.

Networking is not a one off event. All the best networkers work hard at two things.

1. Building a broad network of qualit...
networking  Communicating_&_Connecting  network_effects  listening  questions  attentiveness 
january 2015 by jerryking
2014’s lessons for leaders: Don’t make assumptions, do make hard decisions - The Globe and Mail
BOB RAE
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Dec. 26 2014,

Life has a way of lifting you by the lapels and giving you a good shake. Stuff happens, and when it does, it can throw all the steady paths predicted by pundits, pollsters and economic forecasters into the trash heap....Canadians are fixated on who the winners and losers of the "where will oil prices head" game ...but we need to lift our heads a bit. Russia’s falling ruble and the debt crisis of its elites and their companies have rightly grabbed headlines. But a couple of countries, notably Nigeria and Venezuela, are now in political crisis, and their very stability is at risk in the days ahead.

One of the implications of the 2008 world economic crisis is that regional and world institutions have much less room to manoeuvre and help sort things out. it will be harder for those agencies (EU, IMF) to do as much as is required. Stability doesn’t come cheap....a healthy dose of reality and skepticism is always a good idea. In a useful piece of advice, Rudyard Kipling reminded us that triumph and disaster are both imposters. People draw too many conclusions from current trends. They fail to understand that those trends can change. And that above all, they forget that events can get in the way....One clear lesson is for leaders everywhere to learn the importance of listening and engagement. The path to resolution of even the thorniest of problems...involves less rhetoric and bluster and a greater capacity to understand underlying interests and grievances. ... Engagement should never mean appeasement.
Bob_Rae  pundits  decision_making  leaders  unintended_consequences  predictions  WWI  humility  Toronto  traffic_congestion  crisis  instability  listening  engagement  unpredictability  Rudyard_Kipling  petro-politics  imposters  short-sightedness  amnesia_bias  interests  grievances  appeasement  hard_choices 
december 2014 by jerryking
What TD Bank’s Ed Clark learned on the job - The Globe and Mail
Sep. 19 2014 | G&M | LEAH EICHLER.

1. Listen.

2. Learn on the job.

3. Hire people smarter than you.

4. People and culture are everything.

5. Give employees opportunities to stretch themselves.
TD_Bank  banking  banks  CEOs  leaders  lessons_learned  listening  hiring  organizational_culture  Leah_Eichler  Ed_Clark  smart_people 
september 2014 by jerryking
Fifteen things successful entrepreneurs do every day - The Globe and Mail
JACQUELINE WHITMORE
Entrepreneur.com
Published Monday, Jul. 14 2014,

1. Eat breakfast.

2. Plan your day.

3. Don’t check e-mail right away.

4. Remember your purpose. *************************
5. Single-task.

6. Visualize.

7. Say no. [jk...be conservative, be discerning, be picky, be selective, say "no"]

8. Value your time.

9. Delegate.

10. Listen.

11. Show gratitude.

12. Stand up and move around.

13. Breathe deeply.

14. Take a lunch break.

15. Clear your desk.
deep_breathing  entrepreneur  ksfs  listening  focus  gratitude  proactivity  productivity  self-starters  GTD  say_"no"  monotasking  affirmations  visioning 
august 2014 by jerryking
Relax
1. Develop your own personal operating system. Carve out and define your own reality, philosophy, values, and interests rather than automatically accepting those of your family, peers, religion, or culture.

2. Begin to let go of the need for validation. Don’t be motivated by the opinions or others or the desire for recognition. Be driven by what is important to you and what you value.

3. Trust your instincts and allow for experimentation. Get to know yourself and discover what you enjoy and find exciting, even if you have to fail a few times.
4. Accept others as they are. Begin letting go of judgments and criticism of others. Focus on people’s strengths rather than their faults. Learn to deal with difficult people without diminishing yourself.

5. Really hear people. Go beyond just listening and understanding. Let people know that you really get them.

6. Take care of unresolved matters in your life. Restore your integrity. Forgive and ask for forgiveness where necessary. Reclaim the energy you have given to these matters.

7. Embrace a healthy lifestyle. Get some form of exercise daily. Eat healthy foods that support your body, not your emotions. Do this because you respect yourself, not to impress others.

8. Cause things to happen. Don’t wait for them. Be a creator, an instigator, a collaborator. Share your enthusiasm.

9. Show people you care. Don’t just talk about it. Show them in ways that are meaningful to them, not you.

10. Require the best of people. See them not only for who they are, but who they can be. Lovingly reflect that vision to them.

11. Ensure your own needs are met. Discern your primary needs, and communicate fully what is important and valuable to you in your relationships. Don’t compromise these to keep peace or hang on.

12. Speak constructively. Use your words to uplift, inspire, motivate, and encourage. Don’t offer “constructive criticism” or subtle digs.

13. Laugh easily. Have a lightness about you. Take life less seriously and choose to find and create fun and joy.

14. Cease gossip. Choose not to talk about others in ways that are openly or subtlety critical. Don’t share information for the feeling of power or intrigue.

15. Make requests, not complaints. If you need something from someone, ask for it directly. Don’t whine or complain to them or others.

16. Handle situations fully. Kindly but clearly deal with negative issues as soon as possible. Don’t tolerate anything if it causes resentments.

17. Be done with arguments. Smile and walk away until healthy communication is possible.

18. Offer help only when asked. Don’t assume that others want you to fix them or that you know best for them. Be available and give help only when asked.

19. Care deeply, but remain detached. Let others know you care deeply about them when they have problems, but don’t get caught up in their problems.

20. See with your heart, not your eyes. Look beyond superficiality when seeing someone. Financial status, appearance, notoriety, all mean nothing. Look for the authentic person inside.

21. Don’t say yes when you mean no. If you mean no, your yes will be harnessed with resentment. Say yes only when your yes is given freely.

22. Let others know you are grateful. Tell them and show them that you feel blessed to have them in your life.

23. Never play the guilt card. Don’t try to manipulate or hurt someone by trying to make them feel bad about their choices, decisions, or actions.

24. Give more than is expected. Don’t over-commit, but freely give more than you promise.

25. Be inter-developmental in your relationships. Don’t be controlling, dependent or co-dependent. Create relationships that are mutually uplifting, reward, and satisfying.

26. Be a big person. Don’t try to take credit, diminish others, or hold back on praise. Offer acknowledgment and power when it is needed and deserved.

27. Be confident enough to be humble. Be able to laugh at yourself, acknowledge your flaws and failures, and accept that they don’t define you.

28. Be open to learning. Don’t flaunt your intelligence or superior knowledge. Recognize that there is always something to learn, even from those who appear “less than.”

29. Be more engaged than engaging. Show your sincere interest in others. Use the word “you” more than “I.” Listen intently and reflect back to others who they are.

30. Give gifts that others want. Not just gifts to impress or that are important to you.

31. Challenge yourself constantly. Don’t settle for mediocre. Don’t languish in past accomplishments. Keep moving forward and exude enthusiasm about possibilities and the actions to make them happen.

32. Detach from adrenaline. Simplify your life enough so you are not rushed, stressed, cluttered, or distracted. Allow yourself time and room to focus.

33. Embrace the incredible power of now. Nothing is more valuable than this moment. Make it the best moment you possibly can right now.

34. Don’t fight the flow. Don’t struggle against people or situations you can’t control. Move effortlessly in a different direction.

35. Keep evolving. Stay on a path of self-improvement and stay alert for opportunities for shifts and growth.
next_play  motivations  inspiration  strengths  affirmations  personal_growth  self-improvement  immediacy  simplicity  focus  movingonup  gift_ideas  listening  continuous_learning  humility  praise  relationships  overdeliver  gratitude  sincerity  authenticity  self-awareness  constructive_criticism  foregiveness  values  self-starters  healthy_lifestyles  gossip  self-analysis  self-assessment  self-satisfaction  complacency  personal_energy  span_of_control  disconnecting  rainmaking  individual_initiative  beyond_one's_control 
august 2014 by jerryking
Manage your time as well as your staff - FT.com
October 1, 2013 | FT | Luke Johnson By Luke Johnson.

Not many entrepreneurs are great listeners, but those who have that skill are frequently the most impressive. They learn more. And I like bosses who are always well-informed about their market and competition – never too arrogant to copy rivals, and modest enough to understand that there is always room for improvement.

My favourite entrepreneurs are well-organised but not perfectionists. They see the big picture and do not fritter away energy on trivia. They juggle the multiple calls on their time well, and know what matters.
Luke_Johnson  time-management  entrepreneur  listening  personal_energy  multitasking  the_big_picture 
october 2013 by jerryking
How to Stay Hired
March 1995 | Report on Business Magazine | Trevor Cole. Article explores the roles of communication and office culture in determining how long a new executive lasts in his job.
Rogers  organizational_culture  Managing_Your_Career  managing_up  Communicating_&_Connecting  listening  first90days  executive_management 
december 2012 by jerryking
You Have to Negotiate For Everything in Life, So Get Good at It Now - WSJ.com
January 27, 1998 | WSJ |By HAL LANCASTER

What kind of negotiation is it, asks Peter J. Pestillo, executive vice president of corporate relations for Ford Motor and one of the auto industry's leading labor negotiators. If it's a one-time-only event, you can concentrate on the result, he says. But if there's an ongoing relationship involved, "victory is making both sides feel satisfied," he says. "Take only what you need and don't try to make anybody look bad."...The toughest part of negotiating, Ms. Pravda says, is listening -- really listening -- to the other side. "Most people who negotiate like to talk," she explains, but if you understand their problem, you can craft a creative solution. "It doesn't hurt to say, 'I hear your problem; I don't know yet how to get there, but let me think about it,' " she says. "You become part of their team trying to solve their problem."

In career-related negotiations, she suggests anticipating concerns and lining up allies before making your pitch. In one case, she relates, an inexperienced associate seeking a new assignment lined up a senior associate to supervise him before making the request. "So he'd already taken care of my concerns," she says. In job-related negotiations, also, you must explain not only why the request is good for you, but for the company, she says.
Hal_Lancaster  negotiations  listening  Communicating_&_Connecting  win-win  anticipating  preparation  relationships  one-time_events  empathy 
december 2012 by jerryking
Solving Conflicts In the Workplace Without Losers - WSJ.com
May 27, 1997 | WSJ |By HAL LANCASTER.

RESOLVING CONFLICT, however, takes time, reflection and collaboration. Managers often ignore others' opinions as they get attached to their own solutions to a problem.

To be a more effective resolver of workplace disputes, consider the following tips:

* Listen, listen, then listen some more.
* Keep your emotions in neutral and your actions in drive.
* Track the conflict to its source.
* Communicate continually and frankly.
* Get people together on the small stuff first.
* Know when to cut your losses.
workplaces  Hal_Lancaster  Managing_Your_Career  howto  conflicts  listening  conflict_resolution 
december 2012 by jerryking
Clear Conscience -- Clear Profit - WSJ.com
September 29, 2006 | WSJ | By N.R. NARAYANA MURTHY.

Our experience has shown there are five elements of success in today's global marketplace:

(1) Listen to other people's ideas, especially those of the younger generations. Devise ways of management to tap the brilliance of young minds. Some of our best ideas grew from monthly "Ideation Days," brainstorming sessions led by employees under 30. Keep doors open. Let young workers walk into senior managers' offices to present their ideas without going through "proper channels." Retire early enough to give younger people a chance to take responsibility while still enthusiastic.
(2) Maintain meritocracy. Build a company where people of different nationalities, genders and religions compete in an environment of intense competition and total courtesy. Do this by using data to decide which ideas are adopted. Our motto: "In God we trust. Everyone else brings data to the table."
(3) Benchmark yourself against internal and external competitors to make sure you are doing everything faster today than you did yesterday, or last quarter.
(4) Continue to develop better ideas. Build something great, and then break it to build something better. Never fear being insufficiently focused on a single core business. As long as your most brilliant people are continuously experimenting with the best services to provide to customers, the results will turn out right in the end.
(5) Maintain pressure to implement the best ideas with ever-higher levels of excellence.

Leadership is key to inspiring employees to make these elements part of their daily lives. The golden core of leadership is the ability to raise aspirations. Aspiration doesn't just build companies, it builds civilizations. It changes a set of ordinary people into a team of extraordinary talents, empowering them to convert plausible impossibilities into convincing possibilities.
aspirations  benchmarking  brainstorming  CEOs  data_driven  experimentation  globalization  ideas  ideation  idea_generation  India  Infosys  ksfs  leadership  listening  meritocratic  millennials 
november 2012 by jerryking
Why Listening Is So Much More Than Hearing - NYTimes.com
By SETH S. HOROWITZ
Published: November 9, 2012

The difference between the sense of hearing and the skill of listening is attention.

Hearing is a vastly underrated sense.... hearing is a quantitatively fast sense. While it might take you a full second to notice something out of the corner of your eye, turn your head toward it, recognize it and respond to it, the same reaction to a new or sudden sound happens at least 10 times as fast.

This is because hearing has evolved as our alarm system — it operates out of line of sight and works even while you are asleep. And because there is no place in the universe that is totally silent, your auditory system has evolved a complex and automatic “volume control,” fine-tuned by development and experience, to keep most sounds off your cognitive radar unless they might be of use as a signal that something dangerous or wonderful is somewhere within the kilometer or so that your ears can detect.

This is where attention kicks in.

Attention is not some monolithic brain process. There are different types of attention, and they use different parts of the brain. The sudden loud noise that makes you jump activates the simplest type: the startle. A chain of five neurons from your ears to your spine takes that noise and converts it into a defensive response in a mere tenth of a second — elevating your heart rate, hunching your shoulders and making you cast around to see if whatever you heard is going to pounce and eat you. This simplest form of attention requires almost no brains at all and has been observed in every studied vertebrate.

More complex attention kicks in when you hear your name called from across a room or hear an unexpected birdcall from inside a subway station. This stimulus-directed attention is controlled by pathways through the temporoparietal and inferior frontal cortex regions, mostly in the right hemisphere — areas that process the raw, sensory input, but don’t concern themselves with what you should make of that sound. (Neuroscientists call this a “bottom-up” response.)

But when you actually pay attention to something you’re listening to, whether it is your favorite song or the cat meowing at dinnertime, a separate “top-down” pathway comes into play. Here, the signals are conveyed through a dorsal pathway in your cortex, part of the brain that does more computation, which lets you actively focus on what you’re hearing and tune out sights and sounds that aren’t as immediately important.

In this case, your brain works like a set of noise-suppressing headphones, with the bottom-up pathways acting as a switch to interrupt if something more urgent — say, an airplane engine dropping through your bathroom ceiling — grabs your attention.

Hearing, in short, is easy. You and every other vertebrate that hasn’t suffered some genetic, developmental or environmental accident have been doing it for hundreds of millions of years. It’s your life line, your alarm system, your way to escape danger and pass on your genes. But listening, really listening, is hard when potential distractions are leaping into your ears every fifty-thousandth of a second — and pathways in your brain are just waiting to interrupt your focus to warn you of any potential dangers.

Listening is a skill that we’re in danger of losing in a world of digital distraction and information overload.

And yet we dare not lose it. Because listening tunes our brain to the patterns of our environment faster than any other sense, and paying attention to the nonvisual parts of our world feeds into everything from our intellectual sharpness to our dance skills.

Luckily, we can train our listening just as with any other skill.
10x  listening  attention  hearing  senses  information_overload  distractions  perception  empathy  signals  physiological_response  bottom-up  top-down  pay_attention 
november 2012 by jerryking
World's Simplest Management Secret | Inc.com
Geoffrey James
Oct 24, 2012
In your first (or next) meeting with each direct report ask:

How do you prefer to be managed?
What can I do to help you excel?
What types of management annoy you?

Listen (really listen) to the response and then, as far as you are able, adapt your coaching, motivation, compensation, and so forth to match that individual's needs.
managing_people  listening 
october 2012 by jerryking
Jacqueline Novogratz of Acumen Fund, on Pairs of Values - NYTimes.com
By ADAM BRYANT
Published: September 29, 2012

Q. Tell me about your approach to leadership.

A. I think we so often equate leadership with being experts — the leader is supposed to come in and fix things. But in this interconnected world we live in now, it’s almost impossible for just one person to do that.

So if we could only have more leaders who would start by just listening, just trying to understand what’s going wrong from the perspective of the people you’re supposed to serve — whether it’s your customers or people for whom you want the world to change.

Leaders can get stuck in groupthink because they’re really not listening, or they’re listening only to what they want to listen to, or they actually think they’re so right that they’re not interested in listening. And that leads to a lot of suboptimal solutions in the world.

The kind of leaders we need — and certainly that I aspire to be — reject ideology, reject trite assumptions, reject the status quo, and are really open to listening to solutions from people who are most impacted by the problems. ...We think about our values in pairs, and there is a tension or a balance between them. We talk about listening and leadership; accountability and generosity; humility and audacity. You’ve got to have the humility to see the world as it is — and in our world, working with poor communities, that’s not easy to do — but have the audacity to know why you are trying to make it be different, to imagine the way it could be. And then the immutable values are respect and integrity.
leadership  Acumen  opposing_actions  organizational_culture  values  social_capital  venture_capital  vc  accountability  generosity  humility  audacity  groupthink  listening  respect  integrity  pairs  tradeoffs  tension  dual-consciousness 
october 2012 by jerryking
Listening Begins at Home
November 2003 | HBR | by James R. Stengel, Andrea L Dixon,and Chris T.Allen
listening  P&G  HBR  marketing  career_paths  employee_engagement 
august 2012 by jerryking
What Makes a Top Executive?
1983 | Psychology Today | by Morgan W.McCall, Jr. and Michael M. Lombardo.
Executives, like the rest of us, are a patchwork of strengths and weaknesses....The fatal flaws of executives who failed to live up to their potential.

1. Insensitive to others: abrasive, intimidating style.
2. Cold, aloof, arrogant
3. Betrayal of Trust—failure to meet commitments.
4. Overly ambitious—plays politics, pushes too hard to get ahead.
5. Failure to handle specific performance problems—failure to handle problems then not admit the problem, try to cover up or shift blame.
6. Overmanaging: unable to delegate or build a team.
7. Unable to select and develop an effective staff.
8. Unable to think broadly or strategically—too much attention to detail and minor technical problems.
9. Unable to adapt to a boss with a different style.
10. Overdependence on one’s boss or mentor.

These flaws matter because:
1. Strengths become weaknesses
2. Deficiencies eventually matter
3. Success goes to their heads
4. Events conspire

Part of handling adversity lies in knowing what not to do. Know which behavioural patterns will colleagues and superiors consider intolerable...Seek diversity in the forms of success.
executive_management  CEOs  movingonup  career_ending_moves  leadership  listening  Myers-Briggs  managing_people  EQ  Managing_Your_Career  personality_types/traits  leadership_development  character_traits  strengths  weaknesses  people_skills 
july 2012 by jerryking
Some Preliminary Thoughts on Action Planning and Implementation
??| |??| John J. Gabarro and Leonard A. Schlesinger.

Establish credibility amongst co-workers by repeated sharing clean, coherent vision and plan of action. Convert vision to strategy.
first90days  execution  implementation  listening  contingency_planning  anticipating  influence  action_plans 
july 2012 by jerryking
Bad at Complying? You Might Just Be A Very Bad Listener
September 25, 2007 | WSJ |By JARED SANDBERG.

understand the limitations of your listening skills. Bad listeners tend to tune out dry subjects, get into arguments, fake attention, react to emotional words and daydream. (Wow, do humans actually drink from that encrusted water tower on the building across the street?)

While allegedly listening, bad listeners often are rehearsing what they're about to say, grab every conversational opening and scout for flaws in an argument.

By the end of the first day, you're not simply looking at a second day of course work but a long, slow rehabilitation.

The trick to listening better begins with readiness to listen, which, concedes instructor Jennifer Grau, isn't easy in an age of interruption abetted by call waiting and instant messages. It also helps a lot if you can set your judgments aside....the task of listening to understand rather than simply to reply has three key elements: Involved silence (eye contact, vocal encouragements), probes (supportive inquiry using questions like "what" as opposed to the aggressive "why") and paraphrasing ("What I think you said is..."). That last step shouldn't simply be spitting back what people say, but integrating information about the speaker's attitudes and feelings, 55% of which is communicated nonverbally in body language (only 7% of feelings are communicated with words, Ms. Grau says).

When you consider that these skills are culled from a longer list (awareness, attending, perceiving, etc.) it's clear that listening takes an awful lot of time, which few of us have.

"Efficiency and politeness are inversely correlated,"
listening  Communicating_&_Connecting  soft_skills  interruptions  silence  open_mind  nonverbal  body_language  people_skills  disagreements  argumentation 
june 2012 by jerryking
Three tips to improve your listening skills - The Globe and Mail
1. Show respect: To run a complex organization, you must solicit advice from all corners. Let everyone know that you are open to their viewpoints. Being respectful doesn’t mean avoiding tough questions; good listeners routinely ask them to uncover the information they need. “The goal is ensuring the free and open flow of information and ideas,” he writes.

2. Keep quiet: Your conversation partner should be speaking 80 per cent of the time while you limit yourself to about 20 per cent. To make your speaking time count, ask questions that point the other party in the right direction. “That’s easier said than done, of course – most executives are naturally inclined to speak their minds. Still, you can’t really listen if you’re too busy talking.”

3. Challenge assumptions: Good listeners seek to understand and challenge the assumptions beneath the surface of the conversation. Take a tip from baseball manager Earl Weaver, who titled his autobiography It’s What You Learn After You Know It All That Counts.
listening  McKinsey  books  Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  tips  questions  assumptions  respect  hard_questions 
may 2012 by jerryking
The Art of Conversation
November 19, 2005
Get outside yourself and focus on others. Know how to LISTEN!!!
To become a good conversationalist.
(1) Become invested in the conversation and actively work to help the other person feel comfortable. To this end, ice-breakers might include some of the challenges of your profession? your favourite thing to do on a rainy day? How mobile apps are affecting your life?.

A great opening question should elicit a response that is truly interesting. Ask,"what did you do today? "Start at the beginning and tell me exactly what happened from the time you work up?"
Leah_McLaren  conversations  Communicating_&_Connecting  ice-breakers  etiquette  listening 
march 2012 by jerryking
Is the art of (salon) conversation dead? - The Globe and Mail
Katrina Onstad | Columnist profile | E-mail
From Saturday's Globe and Mail

A generation gap between those over 30 and their stylists isn’t surprising – healthy hands, artistry and long work hours are the stuff of youth – but it can amp up the awkwardness over what to talk about while stuck in the chair. Common ground doesn’t always come easy....“third places,” those potentially liberating establishments like coffee shops and bookstores that are neither home nor work and are the hubs of successful communities. They’re places where we are forced, for better or worse, to interact with people from different classes and backgrounds.
Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  listening  ice-breakers  Katrina_Onstad  third_spaces  generations 
december 2011 by jerryking
In Africa, the Art of Listening - NYTimes.com
By HENNING MANKELL
Published: December 10, 2011

It struck me as I listened to those two men that a truer nomination for our species than Homo sapiens might be Homo narrans, the storytelling person. What differentiates us from animals is the fact that we can listen to other people’s dreams, fears, joys, sorrows, desires and defeats — and they in turn can listen to ours.

Many people make the mistake of confusing information with knowledge. They are not the same thing. Knowledge involves the interpretation of information. Knowledge involves listening.

So if I am right that we are storytelling creatures, and as long as we permit ourselves to be quiet for a while now and then, the eternal narrative will continue.
storytelling  listening  Africa  interpretation  Communicating_&_Connecting 
december 2011 by jerryking
Reporters: Prick up your ears -
Thorsell, William. The Globe and Mail [Toronto, Ont] 01 Dec 2003: .13.

The 35th anniversary of CBC Radio's As It Happens is an exception, because AIH retains so much of its vigour despite the passage of time, the pestilence of fads and the pomposity of managers who come and go. Its durability tells us something about good journalism.

Journalism students often ask what the single most important quality of a good journalist is. The best answer is "curiosity," which may kill cats but supports almost every virtue that a good journalist possesses. If a journalist doesn't learn something in the course of doing his or her job, neither do you. And if you don't learn something, journalism is failing you, and you will tune it out before long.

The people on As It Happens have sustained this capacity. They do their homework on the issues, and in conducting interviews, they follow the conversation, elicit new information and learn.

Barbara Frum once said that the most important tool of a good interviewer is listening, because it is often what your subject says in answering that provokes the next and most revealing question. ...Mary Lou Finlay's curiosity remains keen six years into hosting As It Happens , and 28 years after joining CBC Toronto itself. You can hear her listening and following up on the content of interviews as she goes. You can hear her learning -- being surprised -- which offers the listener the rewards of the chase and a share in the gift of the new. But there's more.

The classic definition of journalism in most newsrooms is "what went wrong yesterday," with some attention given to "what might go wrong tomorrow." Both of these negative paradigms are relevant, AIH understands that good journalism requires application to other paradigms as well: "what went right yesterday" and "what might go right tomorrow." ...Curiosity is a defining characteristic of the young (as certainty is of the old). Journalism struggles to stay young.
reporters  journalists  ProQuest  William_Thorsell  journalism  listening  surprises  curiosity  thinking_tragically  the_single_most_important 
october 2011 by jerryking
Why conversation is as important to a marriage as sex ProQuest
Nov 26, 2005. Globe & Mail. Judith Timson. Family
therapists have a keen sense of how pivotal everyday low-key
conversation is to a good marriage, they can sense when a husband and
wife still respect and listen to what the other says..."sex is very
important, but that mutual respect for your mate and what they think is
the most important. You don't have to agree on things -- as a matter of
fact, I think good conversation often comes from the disagreement,"
family therapist Diane Moody says...Psychiatrist Cathi Borsook, says
conversation "is perhaps the major way couples find closeness with each
other." If conversation doesn't happen, even on a banal and casual
basis, there's little intimacy on any level...adds therapist Diane
Moody, " good conversation is an adventure and you have to plan it a
little by reading and thinking. In that way, I can see that it can be
compared to sex -- it takes good communication, a wish to please, some
planning and some creativity to keep it alive."
ProQuest  Judith_Timson  conversations  Communicating_&_Connecting  respect  listening  marriage  relationships  intimacy  disagreements  low-key 
june 2011 by jerryking
How to make small talk - The Globe and Mail
HADLEY DYER
From Monday's Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010
the art of conversation is combining good technique with the right
attitude. (1) Arrive armed. Do your homework. Scan the headlines. (2)
Pay attention. “Sometimes listening is better than talking.”. (3) Give
and take. Seek a recommendation. Give a compliment. . “Say, 'That's a
beautiful jacket. Where did you get it?' (4) Wrap it up, gracefully. “I
don't like it when someone says, 'I'm going to the bar to replenish my
drink.' I think it's better to say, 'Would you like to come with me?’ ”
Mr. Hyndman says. “If they don't move on, at least you're in motion. You
might be able to include other people along the way and bring in some
new topics, because you've obviously run dry, but always be conscious of
not hurting their feelings.”
howto  Communicating_&_Connecting  ice-breakers  conversations  listening  small_talk  pay_attention 
march 2011 by jerryking
Working Wounded: Find Big-Time Success at Work - ABC News
Feb. 29, 2008 | ABC News | By BOB ROSNER. Dear Working
WOUNDED: I'm a decent salesperson, but no rainmaker. How do you become a
big-time salesperson? Answer: Rainmakers aren't witch doctors who
dance to make it rain. Rather, they're salespeople who see markets
overflowing where most of us see nothing but desert. Below, I've listed
three dos and one don't for making sales fall from the sky. For more,
check out Ford Harding's book, "Creating Rainmakers" (Wiley, 2006).
DO Listen and synthesize. - Mr. Average assumes his most important tool
to making a sale is his golden tongue. While Ms. Rainmaker knows that
it's her ears.
DO Make a friend, not a sale.
DO Always be on the lookout. - have your eye on the horizon for that
next big sale.
DON'T Be part of the pack - make opportunities. Find the
not-part-of-the-pack marketing strategy for your product or service.
rainmaking  sales  selling  tips  prospecting  listening  rainmakers  differentiation  mindsets  books  packaging 
december 2010 by jerryking
Meet your babe’s sexiest organ - The Globe and Mail
Oct. 29, 2010 Globe and Mail Claudia Dey. ...from a
commentator....“ I feel this is related to creating fantasies in a
women's brain. Essentially they will fantasize so you might as well have
some control of their direction, by planting the seeds for them. Giving
at least a sliver of insight into what they are. It also directly ties
you to the fantasies which creates a stronger bound. One that goes
beyond the physical, penetrating the emotional and mental aspects.

However this is only one dimension. Doing simple caring things. Actually
listening to her when she talks to you. Are all simple things that when
done together can create a loving relationship.”
relationships  Claudia_Dey  listening  serving_others 
november 2010 by jerryking
Managing: Six ways to be a team player
April 16, 2007 G&M column by Harvey Schachter in which John Szold outlines 6 tips to becoming a team MVP.

Be approachable: When someone asks for help, no matter how trivial the task may seem to you, it's important to him or her. Treat them with respect. Avoid sighing, eye rolling or other negative reactions.

Be responsive: Often, we're so focused on the tasks we need to accomplish that we put off a colleague's request for help. You shouldn't be expected to drop what you're doing, but you should offer a date or time when you can accommodate the request.

Improve your communication skills: Make sure people understand you -- and if you're not sure, ask: "I'm not sure if I said that clearly. What's your understanding?" When listening, make a conscious effort to really "hear" what's being said, rather than simply formulating your response.

Establish and maintain trust: Avoid gossiping. Nothing upsets an office dynamic like anger and distrust.

Share what you know: If you hold back because you want sole credit for an idea, you are doing yourself and the group a disservice.

Put the team first: If you find yourself thinking, "What's in it for me?" reposition your thinking by asking, "What's in it for the team?" No one person is more important than anyone else.
Managing_Your_Career  tips  teams  Harvey_Schachter  clarity  filetype:pdf  media:document  responsiveness  Communicating_&_Connecting  trustworthiness  gossip  generosity  serving_others  approachability  listening 
january 2009 by jerryking
Advice to MBAs: become known as the go-to person in your field
List of tips for achieving success as MBAs (or frankly, any career) published in the Aug. 7, 2007 | Financial Times |

* Become an expert. "If you can become the absolute go-to person in a field and prove that you can master one thing, you can lather, rinse, repeat, as we say, you can do that in many different factions of your life."

* Commit the time. "It is first in, last out for a period where you

are trying to learn and absorb

a business. If you are able to understand all of the things in the business and really give it your all for certain periods in your life, that will be paid back in spades as you think about all the components that you need to have known."

* Learn to listen. "You have to develop listening skills, especially from the people who have already been there before you, because they could say one little sentence that has more pearls of wisdom

in it than anything that you may come up with on your own.

A mentor can often do that; they can often share with you things about people who have been there before or things they have seen or the way that your style is."

* Find a mentor. "Mentors are critically important for someone's career for the guidance and the support you need. I don't believe in formal mentor programmes.

A mentor is a chemistry thing,

you have to find somebody who cares about your career and who wants to invest the time, not

who has to invest the time."

* Dress for success. "If you want to be asked to a client meeting, show up at work in the morning as if you're going to a client meeting. Way too often the casualness of the younger generation seeps into the work environment and that's not going to be helpful to getting in front

of clients and really getting that experience."
tips  career  Managing_Your_Career  MBAs  indispensable  advice  hard_work  listening  mentoring 
january 2009 by jerryking

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