Jun 16th, 2010 by Richard Anstruther
There is a lot of talk in our culture at the moment about declining attention spans and the use of media, and then comes along a study showing that people who spend more of their day having deep discussions and spending less time engaging in small talk seem to be happier.
The small study, published by Matthias Mehl, a psychologist at the University of Arizona, shows the relationship between happier people and deep conversations, but not cause and effect. But that should not stop you from observing for yourself if you can increase your daily happiness by engaging more deeply with others. Let me know how it goes.
Here is the link to the article describing the study, where you can also read some very interesting comments:
North Bay Business Journal’s February Business Tips has published a long article I’ve written on the societal and personal benefits of listening consciously.
The Journal was very interested in the topic, perhaps indicating renewed interest in the workplace—it’s about time! NorthBay Biz Article
Workshop: Introduction to Conscious Listening
You are welcome to attend a short free workshop on conscious listening that provides an overview of the components of first-rate listening, and how we can use them to deepen our connection with others.
February 11th at the Santa Rosa Senior Center. 707 Bennett Valley Road. 10:30 — 11:30, Room 16, Senior Center. Free. Map
Dec 16th, 2009 by Richard Anstruther
Like a fish in water, we often don’t consider how we live in the world and react to it until we leave a familiar place and have to learn the cultural behaviors of others.
My journey into listening began the day I left England determined to hitchhike overland down the length of Africa. I knew a little French, (which was spoken in some parts of Africa by the educated) but none of the indigenous languages. I was going to have to make it by making do, by paying close attention to the signals people were putting out — their tone of voice, how they said what they said, their body language, etc.
This proved to be especially tough for me since I grew up in a cold household with virtually no communication. But I found that if I started to open my heart, I could understand the essence of what people said without necessarily understanding their words.
As you can imagine, this transformed my trip from a sightseeing adventure into a rich journey through others’ experiences as I gradually made my way through hundreds of villages and towns.
This overland passage which began with going to South Africa and extended on to Cairo and then Asia, laid the groundwork for my interest in communication… and subsequently into conscious listening.
Please join me as I explore over time all things listening and not listening — what it costs us, how to become more skillful at it, and how we can enrich ourselves and others by noticing more of what goes on around us.