Listening has been a very important part of my life. Careful listening helps explain why I wasn’t diagnosed as legally blind until age 9. I’ve employed listening skills of various types in such roles as (e.g.) professional musician, volunteer counselor, Social Security claims interviewer, knowledge acquisition specialist, participatory design participant, and systems analyst. In these and other contexts my lifelong propensity for listening was applied to ‘listening with intent’ (i.e., listening in the service of some purpose).
It is my observation that listening has become something of a lost art in a modern American society that prioritizes trappings such as visual glitz and personal projection over substance and understanding.
I’m interested in hearing what others think of listening, how they employ it, and how this critical human capacity might be constructively returned to its proper prominence.