“Loyalty to a petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.”
~ Mark Twain
What sets this post off, is a post in Grannymar’s blog “About Listening”. I will make it easy for my readers and give below the TED talk on listening.
Some of you may want the transcripts of the main exercises to improve our listening skills and they are these.
1.Silence.Take time to listen to all sounds.
2.Mixer. In a noisy environment,isolate the different channels.
3.Savouring. Enjoy mundane sounds like the washing machine, drinking coffee etc.
4.Listening Positions. Active/Passive; Reductive/Expansive; Critical/Empathetic.
5.RASA. Receive; Appreciate; Summarize; Ask.
That having been attended to, to give the background, let me rant about my own pet peeve.
Throughout my working career, I have seen one behaviour pattern repeating again and again and that is what I call the Blinkered attitude. This is an inability to get out of one’s own mindset and appreciate some one else’s point of view. I believe that this phrase came about with the blinds that horses are equipped with to keep them in the straight and narrow, not allowing distractions.
At the macro level and more strikingly and importantly, the Indian establishment is blinkered and has been in denial about home grown terror, by attributing various acts of terror that India has experienced, to what it has called, cross border terrorism. It does not take a genius to figure out that it is due to vote bank politics, but finally some wisdom seems to have dawned. Quite how these modules of terror have evolved, what can be done to eradicate them and to prevent their sprouting again is yet to occur to our worthies.
At the micro level, some readers of my blog posts give twists and slants to my posts that are non existent, by interpreting from their own value systems, or so called “reading between the lines” and/or completely overlooking important parts of the posts. Often the intent, say satire, sarcasm or humour is missed and this is very frustrating.
I could be as guilty of blinkered vision and this is a tendency that I must try and avoid. I too can interpret written communication to fit into my own pre – conceived world view, in the absence of the body language of the communicator. Perhaps my comments on other blogs too are being interpreted differently from what my intention is in that comment. Obviously, the reader of my comment also does not have the benefit of my body language and so could well end up being frustrated. When that happens, and the blog writer points that out to me, I have no problems revising my opinion, but perhaps, some simply choose to ignore and move on. My loss.
The above paragraph was inserted post publishing and after I read the comments from Grannymar, Looney, Ursula and Shackman. In retrospect, I believe that this paragraph should have featured in the original and I regret not having done so.
Like those exercises for listening that Julien Treasure gives us, I wonder if some exercises can be invented to get rid of the blinkers. If there are already some, I would appreciate being led to those. I will spread the word around.