TRIPLE III TIME: Selective Listening

listeningThis 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.

About Inspiring Innovations, Inc.

Marv Pichla is currently the owner and Creative Advisor for his own small business, Inspiring Innovations, Inc. Sharing his unique experience with entrepreneurship and innovation in public service, Marv consults with public and private business, education, and community organizations to develop new and different problem solving methods through real-life example-based learning. Prior to starting-up Inspiring Innovations, Inc. Marv served as Executive Director for Thumb Area Michigan Works! As Executive Director, Marv used public sector innovation as his guide for the organizations regional career development, employment service, education and strategic planning initiatives. Finally, Marv was raised on a farm in the Thumb Area of Michigan where he claims he received the education principles he values most. However, he obtained his Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Center Michigan University in Public Administration and eventually his Ph.D. from Capella University in Minnesota. Marv can be reached at:

Posted on November 16, 2018, in Triple III. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Beckhorn, Stephanie (TIA)

    Very true to words for all of us to embrace.

    Thanks for sharing.

    I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and a successful hunting season. 😊

    Take care.

    Stephanie Beckhorn, Director
    Workforce Development Agency
    201 N. Washington Square | Lansing, MI 48913
    Phone: 517-241-4078 | Fax: 517-241-8217 | Cell: 517-290-2007 | Email:
    Talent Investment Agency (TIA)
    Talent and Economic Development Department of Michigan
    LEGAL NOTICE: This e-mail is for the exclusive use of the intended recipient(s), and may contain privileged and confidential information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or duplication of this email is expressly prohibited. If you are not an intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately, delete the e-mail from your computer, and do not copy or disclose it to anyone else. Your receipt of this message is not intended to waive any applicable legal privilege, and does not constitute an electronic signature or provide consent to contract electronically.


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