Thinking too much?

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

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I don’t subscribe to many email newsletters but Steve Davis‘s is one of them. Here are a couple of paras from a recent one on the theme of listening.

Our modern society has a love affair with thoughts and thinking. And for good reason. For without them, there’d be some pretty big voids in our world. Where would education be? How about science, engineering, economics, and politics? So many pillars of our culture rest on the advances we’ve made in our thoughts about things that it’s no wonder we value them so much.

Any strength, if overused, can become a liability. I believe this is also true of this tool we call “thinking.” I believe that many of the ailments that plague modern society come not only from an increase in environmental stressors, but also from our response to them. As the pace picks up and our thinking becomes more complex, it become that much more difficult to quiet our minds–a common complaint made by many people today.

Steve goes on to talk about how thinking may actually get in the way of listening and argues for presence being more important. Something that resonates with me. I’m increasingly interested in the practice of silence in meetings as I think this begins to bring to the surface just how much noise many of us are semi-consciously making inside our heads. And when we start to attend to that, we might start to realise the extent to which we are so busy interpreting other people that we’re not really experiencing them at all. And I say “we” because I hope I’m not the only person who does this!

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