Because talking (and listening) are things we learn how to do from a very early age and without formal schooling, it’s easy to assume that we’re experts. But people’s minds move at different rates, our personalities differ, and at any given time we’re viewing the world through mood, priorities, and other lenses that may differ radically from those of the person we’re talking to. The risks of miscommunication are endless.
(light music) … - I'm certain my wife would not agree that I have … good listening skills. … It's human nature, … you get preoccupied with your own thoughts … and when I'm busy thinking about something, … I don't hear very well cause my brain's sort of, … already engaged and I don't necessarily … turn noise into a coach and enough thought … that it gets in and I actually acknowledge … what somebody's saying. … So I'm just as guilty as anyone … of not being a good listener. … I think, in order to overcome that, … you have to deliberately listen and not just to the words, … not just a text, but what was the reason behind the text? … What do those words mean, culturally? … How did the person say them and why? … Why did they say them now? … What's the sense of urgency? … What is the actual message they're trying to get across? … And so of course, the best way to verify all of that … is to engage in discussion. … A really clinical example is where mission control … is calling up to something important to the spaceship …
Note: Some videos assume a group of learners is available for team activities and discussions. Please use what’s useful and feel free to adapt the lessons to your particular circumstances.
This course includes videos from:
Alan Alda, Emmy-winning actor, writer, and director
Nancy Duarte, communication expert
Jeffrey Wright, Tony-winning actor from Angels in America
Chris Voss, lead negotiator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Colonel Chris Hadfield, Canadian astronaut
Note: This course was produced by Big Think. We are pleased to host this content in our library.