Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised by this hindrance, but I was.
I was at a really interesting presentation on corporate social responsibility. Two members of the audience when handed the mic to ask questions touted their own horns and pushed their businesses. I jumped into judgmental mode. How dare they? Don’t they realize how boring this is for the rest of us? And so on.
I have no idea if they said anything worthwhile because I just stopped listening. What helped me turn off? Seeing someone roll her eyes and realizing that a number of people felt the way I did. That made it socially acceptable.
Now, in this case it may not matter that we tuned the speakers out. In fact, they may well have deserved it. But how often do we allow the fact that others aren’t listening openly (or listening at all) to absolve us of our own responsibility or perhaps desire to listen? Pretty often, I think.
Something to keep in mind …