Since we are stuck inside I am reading 4 different books at the same time so hopefully I can get it all straight as I write about two of these books.
My first book I am really enjoying and keep thinking this guy must have read my mind. It’s called “People are Idiots and I can prove it!” by Larry Winget. The title alone called to me. I am far from a perfect person but I am amazed at how on a daily basis, I see people doing dumb things. I constantly mutter like a grumpy old man “people are idiots.” The book is confrontational, a little rude but necessary to be read. He basically writes to stop making excuses, and don’t blame others for your mistakes. He says to confess your mistakes, and figure out how to resolve your problem. The first section gives scenarios of how people are being idiots including yourself and the second section is how to fix your mistakes. There are written assignments as well. It is an entertaining, funny and helpful book. It doesn’t go easy and doesn’t “feel” like a super positive book but it’s practical and makes you hold a mirror to yourself. One way it has motivated me is to lose those darn 20 lbs. I have gained the past 2 years. I caved and joined weight watchers and am loving it. I was logging my food for the past two months (at least) and I don’t eat as much as the average Joe but apparently I eat more than I burn so it’s time to hold that mirror and figure out how to fix it!
Second Book “You’re Not Listening” by Kate Murphy
The first time I realized I was not a great listener was when an author pointed out that people can’t be good listeners when they are constantly thinking of their response once the other person stops talking. He was right, how can I listen and think of s good response at the same time? We all do this. People interrupt others to have a good comeback. For me, it is natural to do that and so very wrong.
Now, we are worse at listening with cell phones to constantly distract us while someone is talking. I am so guilty of this. Instead of improving my listening skills, I think I’m worse. I find myself drifting in thought or scrolling online when people are talking to me.
I decided to read the book “you’re not listening” because of my strong belief that people just don’t listen. I was curious to see if it will help me improve on my listening skills. So far, i find myself drifting away while I’m reading the book. Ironically, I’m not “listening” to the book!
There are some key points that I did actually pay attention to:
- People feel threatened listening to opposing views. How true is that?! I have seen this my entire life. When I told someone I’m a pescetarian, they told me I was brainwashed. I didn’t get to respnd, I was actually taken back by that comment. I tried to say something back and immediately thereafter they were sidetracked by something they saw (squirrel). I let it go, because what is the point of discussing this with someone who has immediately jumped to the conclusion that I’m brainwashed. How many times have you experienced someone not wanting to even hear your side or opinion when they know it’s different than theirs?
- How about when someone finishes your sentences? I interview people about their jobs, processes for a living. I worked with someone who did that during our interviews. I had to point it out to raise awareness, no one else did that for her. Don’t do that to people, it’s rude and you should practice patience. I’ve caught myself doing it as well, let’s be aware and correct.
- In my career, I get to meet with people of all different careers. During meetings, I pay attention to their demeanor, facial expressions, body language, avoidance to certain questions, etc. it is exhausting, but I think when I really focus on them, it’s how I understand, can sense where something might be an issue. It also makes me likable and caring. Oh I’m an auditor, so that’s a tough feat to accomplish, at times.
Overall, the book was good, a little too dry for my taste. It did remind me how important it is to listen. What I would like is some kind of training class to learn to listen better. Have you noticed schools do not teach listening skills or study skills? Those lessons would be helpful in life!