Is This a Good time for Listening?


In a recent video interview, Michael Wolff answers the question: is this a good time for creativity?

Wolff talks about three muscles:

  1. muscle of inquisitiveness – noticing in businesses
  2. muscle of appreciation – taking in what's there
  3. muscle of imagination – mix noticing how things are, and looking at how they could be different


[hat tip Riita Raesmaa]

His is a useful way of thinking about how to see cities and environments and the motivations that designed them. Which in turn helps you become aware of aspects of your trade that are a turn off to people – and may well be unconsciously about the automatic "this is the way we do things".

Is this a good time for listening?

Conscious listening creates understanding.

Listening helps you uncover white space, it makes the outcome of negotiation successful, and it works well with customers.

Listening leads to positive change, and big picture listening is a model of influence.

What we pay attention to goes to the quality of our trade.

At a time when we have the opportunity to listen better, the art of conversation has been replaced by public broadcasting and we're running the risk of missing the nuances and cues that can transform how we connect with each other.

The quality and intent of our connections to ourselves, our business and work, and communities depends on this kind of listening and observation.

Growth is a result of innovation and creativity. When we open up to assembling assets and trading them in new ways. In some cases, that means learning to notice what and how gets in your way, and appreciating what you can do more that moves people and connects with them.

Branding is all about remembering for future reference, reminds us Wolff. The art of conversation is about more practice in connection-making. It leads to the discovery of opportunity. There are at least 5 reasons why listening is so much more than monitoring, and I'm sure you have many more.

The root of the term audit, which is used by many to describe a social media sweep of brand name mentions and brand activities in social media, comes from Lat. auditus "a hearing," pp. of audire, which means to hear.


This is what I was thinking about as I was watching this short interview. About how much of our physical context signals the emergence and ego of "I'm here" vs. we're in conversation.

Even social networks are designed to help users build monuments to themselves. Right or wrong to call it journalism, Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi writes of some colleagues using Twitter [hat tip Edward Boches]:

Journalism used to be about looking out your window on the world and telling people what you saw and then getting out on the street as fast as possible to report on what others saw. Now, it also involves looking in the mirror and telling the world, here’s some miscellaneous information about fabulous me.

Conscious listening is deeper than simply hearing and being unaware of how what we hear affects us. So I wonder with you: is this a good time for listening?


[image credit Flickr Some rights reserved by ky_olsen]

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