#133 The listening house

Happy Sunday, everyone.

I’ve written a good bit about listening over the years.

Few developed skills are as impactful as listening. Becoming good at it makes you a better spouse, parent, child, business person, leader, … the list goes on.

So when Song Exploder host, Hrishikesh Hirway, released his TED Talk on the idea of listening to others in a different way, I jumped in with reasonable expectations to learn something. I wasn’t disappointed.

Here are my notes from last week…

Notes on listening

First thing. If you’ve never listened to the Song Exploder podcast or watched the show on Netflix, it’s a show where musicians break down their songs, bit by bit, and tell the story of how they’re made. It’s incredibly well-done.

Alright, with that in mind, let’s dive in.

  • Songs feel a lot like houses. As a listener, you can listen to the finished product, but similar to admiring a house from the outside, you don’t know what the rooms look like or what it means to the creator of the house.

  • When musicians break down their songs on his show, they’re giving the listener a guided tour inside that house and uncovering the layers and stories within.

  • Once we know the stories and have seen the rooms, we don’t look at the house (or listen to the song), even from the outside, the same. This goes for anything - writers, clients, friends, etc. The context gives us a new appreciation.

  • When we’re in a conversation with someone else, there could be tons of rooms to discover, which develops new learning and builds a bridge between you and them.

  • Three keys for better listening

    1. Be open to new ideas - Most of the time, we listen to music or others passively, often failing to discover anything more than what’s on the surface.

    2. Stop multi-tasking - It’s like listening to one song while trying to sing another.

    3. Let them know you’re engaged without taking the focus away from them - Use nonverbal cues like a nod — sometimes intentionally engaged silence makes space for new discoveries

At one point in the talk, Hrishikesh mentioned the act of “getting immersed”.

It makes me think of language immersion schools and how effective they are at teaching those who want to learn a foreign language.

What would happen if we “got immersed” when listening?

Until next time, friends.


P.S. Here’s a music discovery app I’m giving another try: Music Harbor

P.S.S We launched a new version of Pttrns.com a few weeks ago. Calm Capital collaborators John Peele and Todd Fortier did a great job on it. It’s a complete overhaul of the app and business model. I’ll share more soon.

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