• All about the humanity of communication.

    All about the humanity of communication.

Effective communication depends mainly on listening

A national panic ensued during the 1938 radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds. People didn’t listen to the many announcements made throughout the broadcast that the story was fictitious. Halfway through the program, Orson Welles looked up from his microphone to discover that the studio was filled with police. Radio stations, newspapers, hospitals, and police were flooded with phone calls regarding the “invasion”. People don’t listen any better today, to a great cost for them and everyone else involved.

listening-pointListening is at the forefront of communication. Just think about how often during the day you spend time listening: the radio during your commute, television in the evening, at the movie theatre, through ear buds attached to a portable music player, audio seminars and podcasts over the Web, office conversations, airport announcements. The listening ability of airplane pilots and control tower personnel is critical to a successful and safe flight. And those company meetings you attend: one person talking, everyone else listening. The written word, and its incumbent paperwork, is much slower than the spoken word — when business needs to move fast, the keyboard and pen are eschewed in favor of oral communication: talking and listening.

Continue reading Why Is Listening So Under-Appreciated?

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Our names are special to us. We truly enjoy to hear others utter them. Names create a connection that moves beyond the mundane, the everyday transactions of life.

around-the-fountainLast week, I went skiing with my teenage son. All the people working at the ski resort wore name tags: the ticket booth personnel, the instructors, the ski patrol, the lift operators. I decided to address each of them by their names which, not surprisingly, always engendered a small conversation, and many times, some unsolicited revelations about the ski resort.

Names elevate any conversation, any interaction: from your close friends to the tech support person; from the ski lift operator to the grocery store cashier.

two-italian-menNames are humanity. Abbie, Tyler, Alita, Torin, Kevin, Tommy, Gary, Tom, Jem, Anne, Ann, Martha, Suzanne, Bill, Bob, Chris, Jeff, Cathy, Michael, David, Rob, Steph, Patti, Sean, Matt, Cyndy, Alice, Bonnie, Becky, Becca, Katrina, Kristin, Peter, Karl, Jasmine, Ione, Gina, Evelina, Charlie, Henry, Eric, Molly, Chino, Paul, Carolyn, Jean, Gene, Geoff, Fred, Olga, Connie, Irene, Max, Sharon, Ted, Shelley, Rachel, Tony, Rose, Jenny, John, Rick, Wendy, Mark, Diane, Scott, Priscilla, Joe, Barbara, Pam, Sally, Marie, Jay, Mary, Pilar, Andrew, Kathy, Laura, Duane, Dan, Keith, Stephen, Maria, Dorothy.

Did you look to see if I included your name? Most likely you did. Sorry if I didn’t list it.

So I use names, as much as I can. Names are humanity.

–Rich Maggiani

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Deer slept in our backyard last night. They have been sleeping in the yard, on and off, for about two months now, since the beginning of the snow and cold. This has happened enough times that, in the morning, I have made it a habit to see if the deer forayed into the yard the previous evening.

deer-bedBy now you realize that I live in a rural setting with my small family, on about an acre of land surrounded by large tracts of wooded areas dotted sparsely with some homes.

The deer slip out from the surrounding woods and find the one place in the yard where there was a garden. They root around for whatever they can find to eat, then lie down to sleep. My wife — it being her garden — was the first to notice.

It’s unusual for deer to sleep in the open, so their making beds in the middle of our yard seems quite strange. And yet, the deer somehow have found refuge there, enough that they return now and again.

While contemplating this small bit of nature one morning, it struck me that the deer had found a bit of nourishment in that small garden and a piece of humanity in our yard. Which, naturally, spawned the idea for this blog.

I hope you find a bit of humanity in these posts, something you can bring to your everyday lives.

–Rich Maggiani

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