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YOUR OPINION: Lost art of listening

December 4, 2022 at 3:15 a.m.

Mike Barnhill, Ashland

Dear Editor,

Can you remember the last time a new acquaintance remembered your name who you had only met once before? Didn't it make you feel special? Also make you feel very humble in that you couldn't remember their name? This is an example of the "art of listening" and the benefit from gaining such ability.

When people converse with each other, they are normally divided into Alpha or Beta types. Alpha types are the ones doing the most talking and Beta types are normally the main listeners. When conversing a highly debatable subject, it's suggested to repeat what the Alpha has to say. By doing so, you are making sure the Alpha understands you are listening to every word. The Alpha is more likely to listen to you if you show respect for their thoughts or words.

It is obvious in listening to TV programs, concentrating on mainly political issues, that listening isn't a strong suit in the program announcers. When two Alpha types debate each other, there is very little listening going on. The strongest political leaders are those who can both speak and listen. We'll call those rare people "Alpha-Beta Types."

The next time a political debate is held, let's say for example in the Georgia runoff for senator, listen to what the competitors say when questioned on a subject. Do they answer in a "yes or no" manner or do they side-step the question and attempt to change the subject. Again, this requires our listening abilities not the competitors.

By increasing our listening ability, we'll develop a better way to detect those political figures who talk a lot, but actually say little or nothing of consequence.

Print Headline: Your Opinion: Lost art of listening


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