We are losing our active listening skills in the modern world.

Quiz by: ChezTeresaESL

7:30But we have a problem.
7:32The problem is we simply don't listen.
7:36And I'd like to suggest to you that
that is a very significant problem.
7:41There are reasons for this problem,
7:43thousands of years ago we invented writing,
7:45before that, if you didn't listen, if you
missed it,
7:48you missed it.
7:50Now, well if you want to go to sleep,
7:53in this talk, you can watch it
on the TEDx Youtube channel afterwards.
7:57The premium on being present
and listening is not as great as it used to be.
8:01That's the first reason.
8:03Secondly, I would suggest there's
a cultural thing going on here as well:
8:06you may be familiar with the Chinese model
that the duality of yin and yang,
8:10where yang is heat and light
and sun and male energy
8:15and much outward focused,
8:17and yin is dark, moon, female energy,
receiving, much quieter.
8:22Well if I substitute sound words for those
8:26I think you might agree with me that in our
8:29we're much more fond of telling,
than we are of listening.
8:35And that creates a world that looks like
8:38and sounds like this:
8:40(indistinct conversation noises)
8:42People telling, telling, telling, all the
8:46And it's not surprising therefore,
8:48that many people take refuge in this:
8:51(earphones displayed on the picture
while music playing faintly)
8:53But there's an effect of that, a social
effect of that,
8:57on the way that we are with each other.
8:59We take a public space,
imagine any big public space
9:03it could be this theater, I hope not,
9:06I hope nobody's wearing headphones at the
9:08but a train station, an airport, a train
9:12whatever space where we're with other
9:15We take that space, where for a long time
9:18we've been listening to each other.
9:20We might not be speaking to each other,
9:21but we're conscious of each other in our
9:25but we're conscious of each other in our
9:25And we are turning that space into this.
9:30Thousands if millions of little sound
9:33They're called personal soundscapes,
9:35and this fragmentation of public
and shared soundscape
9:39into personal soundscapes
has got serious consequences
9:42because in this scenario,
we're not listening to each other at all.
9:50We are also becoming short of patience.
9:53We don't want to listen to oratory,
9:55we want soundbites.
9:57We don't watch TV programs, we channel-hop.
9:59We don't listen to albums, we listen to
10:03We don't want to have conversations,
10:05we want to tweet or text.
10:07So our patience is getting shorter and
10:11And at the same time we're becoming
desensitized in our listening.
10:16Our media have to shout at us
10:18in order for us to hear.
10:20And this level of desensitization
means that we're finding it
10:25harder and harder to hear the quiet,
10:28the subtle, the silence.
10:34We are losing our listening in the modern
10:37And I think this is a message
you're going to receive several times today
10:40in one form or another. How can we get it
10:44Well I'd like to give you some exercises
to take away with you,
10:47these are kind of like being in the gym,
10:49the first one of these is this:
10:58Silence is very rare in the modern world.
11:02I urge you to seek it out,
11:04and just give yourself
a few minutes of silence every day.
11:09It re-calibrates, it resets your ears,
11:11it's like a sorbet in a good meal.
11:14It allows you to hear again
11:16freshly as if for the first time.
11:18That's the first one.
11:20The second one is a process I call 'the
11:23where you can go into
any noisy modern environment like this,
11:30and start to think:
"How many channels of sound am I hearing?"
11:35How many separate sound sources?
How many people's voices,
11:38chairs squeaking, barristers banging?
11:41You can do this in beautiful natural
like this as well
11:44(water sounds and chirping birds)
11:45How many birds can I hear? The wind in the
11:50How many separate ripples?
11:52It's a great exercise to improve
the acuity of your listening.
11:57The third exercise is savoring.
12:00Like this guy savoring his cup of coffee,
12:02even the most mundane sounds around us,
12:05you can savor, if you really pay attention
to them.
12:08This -- (engine noise) -- is my tumble
12:11I recorded it before I came out.
12:13It's a waltz! One two three,
one two three, one two three.
12:18That's quite groovy! I could put music on
top of that!
12:21Or take another simple domestic sound
like boiling a kettle.
12:35So you can really savor even the simplest
12:38The next exercise is listening positions:
12:40have you ever thought of the idea
that you could take up
12:43certain positions to listen from?
12:46This can change everything.
This excerpt of Julian Treasure's 2011
Talk is taken from:
v=CKayQthlwts (7:30 - 12:38)

To continue to listen to the next part of this
speech with another quiz, go to Quiz #25907,
"Listening Positions".