TRIPLE III TIME: Selective Listening
This semester I am again teaching an American Government & Politics course for an area community college. And one of the most important and interesting class assignments is the preparation and presentation of a one or two-page Position Paper each week. Position Papers allow students to pick an issue that they are passionate about…an issue that could realize improvement if it were addressed by a government body…and create discussion about what might be the differing public opinions on the issue. The issues selected and the resulting class discussions are a blast!
Well this week a young lady presented her Position Paper on: Snakes as Therapy Pets. It was obvious she had done adequate research and offered examples of where, when and how different snake species are utilized as therapy pets. The class and I listened…but I have to admit I did not listen as well as I should have. Whether it was my long-term fear of snakes, my internal debate on the class interest in this topic or my own personal nervousness about the snake topic in any form…I began applying: SELECTIVE LISTENING.
You know what I mean…and we are ALL guilty at some point.
SELECTIVE LISTENING basically means that you listen with less interest and with a mindset that has moved on to another topic. SELECTIVE LISTENING seems to occur mostly because of your lack of interest in the speaker and/or interest in what they are talking about. So think for a moment…would I have been SELECT LISTENING if Clint Eastwood, Mark Zuckerberg or my mentor Dr. Bender were discussing the value of snakes as therapy pets? Would I have listened more intently, with more support, and with a more sincere interest in a quality two-way discussion on the topic?
Today, I believe that in so many areas of our personal and professional worlds…we have too much SELECTIVE LISTENING. The high volume of information exchange has somehow numbed our listening capacities. Unfortunately this includes listening in the areas of politics, parenting, communities, friendships and even within family households.
Bottomline: This TRIPLE III TIME message recommends that you work hard to reduce the frequency and areas that cause you to engage in SELECTIVE LISTENING. Why…because?
- You will regret not listening and learning from the words of an aging family member.
- You should not disregard the value of the words of a young child/adult
- You should not ignore the non-traditional words/beliefs/ideas of those you meet everyday.