©by Patricia Feager 3/12/2016
In a world that flourishes with newer, faster, better, and MORE technology will the basic skill of listening be slayed by the dragon of technology? Is listening fast becoming a lost art? In education, we are taught to read, write, and listen. Then we develop skills to make meaningful connections between letters and words. Comprehension is the key to understanding and the greatest gift one can give to another human being is the gift of listening by giving the other person your full and undivided attention.
Establishing trust begins with feeling safe and that starts with understanding the meaning of communication. Listening is both verbal and non-verbal communication. Sitting face-to-face tells one person if the other is happy, sad, paying attention, stressed, bored, or excited. But what happens when people are not sitting face-to-face and messages are coming across in brevity, such as in TEXT messages? The sender has no idea where the other person is when they receive that text message. Is the receiver alert? Driving? Sitting down? Watching T.V.? Getting out of bed? Having a meal? About to walk out the door? Getting ready for an important meeting? In the middle of getting bad news? A patient, waiting for their turn to see the doctor? Having an argument with kids, family members or a contractor?
How many people get a text messages in 10 words or less? What happens when the sender sends capital letters instead of words, such as LMTAI? Does the other person know what they are talking about? Often times, it becomes a texting battle of short letters and words that takes much longer than necessary to understand. When a person is busy or pre-occupied with something more important, and they answer the text message (just to be polite) then gets fired back with a series of more incomplete sentences or capital letters, it fuels frustration because the interactive game of letters and words takes on intensity and sometimes, never seems to end on a happy note. I'm sorry, but a happy face does not mean the other person is happy.
Is listening becoming a lost skill, lost in a translation of incomplete phrases and capital letters? Is the world evolving into a more attention-deficit society due to increased texts, tweets, instagrams, etc., and is there no substitute for a scheduled meeting between two or more people face-to-face?
When children are being educated in a classroom environment, it's easy for a Teacher to know who is having difficulty catching up, maintaining attention, acting out, the last students to finish a test, or poorly organized. Eventually, children grow up and just because they work, and have the financial means to make important purchases, such as buying a home, it doesn't mean they know what they are signing, understand what they are reading, can make fast decisions, or is mentally competent to understand a series of phrases and capital letters in rapid succession.
A major purchase, like buying a home deserves better than a series of instant letters and phrases. For me, a healthy communication begins with sitting down face-to-face. I am an advocate for interpersonal communication between clients. Helping buyers to feel safer and more secure in a safe place with their undivided attention to fully understand what they are doing demands a good and accurate ear to hear. Communication at best is a two-way street and all parties have to be on board.
©Patricia Feager 3/12/2016