Top Five TED Talks on How to Be a Better Listener

- Communication

by Sam at Management 3.0

We talk about listening all the time at Management 3.0 in our blog and podcast and that’s because, it’s the key to communicating, to building trust, rapport and to excel as a leader and an organization. But don’t take our word for it. Take the word of some of the best influencers and experts in the field.

Here are our five picks for the best TED talks on how to be a stellar listener:

#1: 5 Ways to Listen Better, with Julian Treasure: In our louder and louder world, says sound expert Julian Treasure, “We are losing our listening.” In this short, fascinating talk, Julian shares five ways to re-tune your ears for conscious listening — to other people and the world around you. He says we spend 60% of our communication time listening and only retain 25% of what we hear. Watch this great talk to better understand how we’re becoming impatient and why the art of conversation is being replaced by personal broadcasting.

#2: 10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation, with Celeste Headlee: One of the best talks on the art of listening, Celeste gives concrete, practical advice that will stick with you the next time you’re having a conversation. When your job hinges on how well you talk to people, you learn a lot about how to have conversations, and that most of us don’t converse very well, she says. Celeste Headlee has worked as a radio host for decades, and she knows the ingredients of a great conversation: Honesty, brevity, clarity and a healthy amount of listening. In this insightful talk, she shares 10 useful rules for having better conversations. Go out, talk to people, listen to people, and, most importantly, be prepared to be amazed, she says.

#3: Want to Truly Help Someone? Shut up and Listen, with Ernesto Sirolli: When most well-intentioned aid workers hear of a problem they think they can fix, they go to work. Ernesto Sirolli suggests this is naive. In this funny and impassioned talk, Ernesto proposes that the first step is to listen to the people you’re trying to help, and tap into their own entrepreneurial spirit. His advice on what works will help any entrepreneur. Find out how Ernesto’s work with aid groups in Africa (and the disappointment that came from it) taught him why listening is key and why you can’t help people that aren’t asking for assistance.

#4: Listen, Learn … then Lead, with Stanley McChrystal: Four-star general Stanley McChrystal shares what he learned about leadership over his decades in the military. How can you build a sense of shared purpose among people of many ages and skill sets? By listening and learning, and addressing the possibility of failure.

#5: Everything around you has a story the world needs to hear, with Dave Isay: Dave Isay opened the first StoryCorps booth in New York’s Grand Central Terminal in 2003 with the intention of creating a quiet place where a person could honor someone who mattered to them by listening to their story. Since then, StoryCorps has evolved into the single largest collection of human voices ever recorded. His TED Prize wish: to grow this digital archive of the collective wisdom of humanity.

Photo Credit C D-X via Unsplash

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