Listening Rediscovered

Are you a person who has World Cup fever or are you the person completely turned off by the mentions of three games a day, the drama of a loss or win, and block all mentions of World Cup in your social networks? If you are in the latter category, I apologize. This post is not meant to latch onto real time events, but to convey a true observation.

Last week, I was commuting from my company headquarters in Hartford, Conneticut to my home in Boston. The timing of the drive could not have been worse. I was stuck in traffic during the opening match of the World Cup. Surely I would be able to find a radio station live broadcasting the match? No such luck. I scanned the stations for ten minutes before I was so scattered and frustrated by the jumping channels that I gave up the search. I knew there were several Internet streaming options, but I was driving in an area with little to no signal.

One last attempt to find a radio station broadcasting the live match was a success. This channel was not an English speaking channel, but a Spanish speaking broadcast. I recognized the rapid play-by-play tone of voice. Despite the language barrier, I strived to tune in and recognize player names and determine context of conversation based on the cadence of the broadcaster's voice.

GOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLL!!!

I understood.

Now keep in mind, I am trying to be extremely attentive while listening to the broadcast….and driving. I survived. As did others on the road, but I do not recommend this listening refresh exercise if you are driving.

Listening to the World Cup broadcast in a different language forced me to listen for keywords, phrases, and meaning hidden in layers of cadence. This was the best match I have listened to because I was completely turned in. Funny enough, I recreated the experience by watching live World Cup broadcasts in German because I was on holiday in Germany for the first several days of this event. Language is not a barrier, but a gateway to understanding all of the elements of voice and how we can become better passive listeners. Ultimately, by strengthening passive listening skills, we will become more comfortable expanding our role in active listening.

 

(My first post using Blogsy. Forgive the simple style of post. I am learning the app interface!)

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