Listening as a Competitive Sport

Listening is underrated. Too often when we listen, it’s only to prepare what we’ll say in response. We already know what the other person’s talking about. We’re just waiting to give the counterpunch. The voice in our head is so loud, it drowns out what the other person is even saying.

Why do we do this?

We are not only hardwired to have an answer, but our society rewards quick retorts, witty comebacks, and smart-sounding responses.

Competitive Listening

Competitive listening happens when you fundamentally believe what the other person is saying is false, and you are preparing your response to prove them wrong.

Sound familiar?

Here is a very ear-opening, and sobering assessment from sound expert, Julian Treasure on ‘5 ways to listen better.’

He warns that “We are losing our listening” and relationships suffer as a result. But not all is lost, “Conscious listening” he says, “creates understanding.’ For more effective listening, he proposes the acronym, RASA (Receive, Appreciate, Summarize, Ask). This is a great rubric for active listening. It cultivates understanding and improves relationships. In our soundbite society, utilizing the RASA method can help you slice through the noise and truly understand what the other person is saying.


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