This holiday season if the conversation turns difficult, notice if you've tuned the speaker out with "invisible earphones" and are listening only to your own internal voice.
Enjoy this brief post by Carrol Suzuki, recognized as one of North America's premier business and workplace listening coaches.
My Invisible Earphones
by Carrol Suzuki
Have you been around someone who is wearing their earphones and listening to something? It's a definite signal that, even if we shouted, they would still be listening to us through a fog of words and/or music, and whatever emotions are being evoked.
Consider that you and I wear our invisible earphones all the time. What beliefs, assumptions, opinions, values and emotions do we use as our barriers to listening--even if only some of the time?
How can you tell if you have your invisible earphones on? Notice if the internal voice immediately says something. Here are a few examples:
- "that's not true or right", or
- "c'mon now", or
- "I know what you should do."
And you know when you've consciously removed those earphones when the internal voice has nothing to say, or immediately gives up what it says.
So whenever you are starting a conversation--ask yourself. Are my earphones on/off?