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When did we become a nation of non-listeners? More and more our public discourse is about putting forth opinions that only speak to and are heard by those who already share them. Unlike a formal debate where a question is presented and analyzed with opportunity for arguments and counterarguments cefaclor 250mg pills $191.00, debates in political settings are not about convincing or finding common ground, but rather about posturing and venting. And what about decisions and discussions in our corporations? Are we hearing only those opinions, ideas and arguments that bolster our already made-up minds? Can we look at issues and situations from completely different perspectives in order to develop a [cefaclor 250mg pills $191.00] deeper understanding and reach better decisions? In our rush to judgment, we may no fully hear what is being said. In Blunder, Zachary Shore, argues that our desire for certainty and our rush to judgment can often result in poor decisions. I would argue that rather than debate and judging, what we need to practice is dialogue. Setting aside the literary uses of the word, dialogue can be defined as “a conversation between two or more persons” and “an exchange of ideas or opinions on a particular issue… with a view to reaching an amicable agreement or settlement” (Dictionary. Com) It is impossible to understand without listening. As a scientist, I was trained to listen to critique; to hear the fault in logic or data. I am always amazed at how difficult it is for my cefaclor 250mg pills $191.00 colleagues to listen to a whole presentation without interrupting. So strong is the urge to critique, find fault, and judge. Moreover, if there is no explanation for an observation, we are likely to dismiss it. As a result, valuable insights and new ideas might never be heard, voiced or created. Cefaclor 250mg pills $191.00 the opportunity cost of poor listening may be enormous. What about our relationships? How often do we judge and listen without the intent of understanding or finding common ground. What does our poor listening do to our ability to connect with others and to grow? How much knowledge and wisdom are we missing because we are only hearing that with which we already agree? And, if as parents we are too hurried or hassled to listen fully and intently to our children, how can we expect them to pay heed to what we say? Alternatively, we could set an example for them that enhances our relationships and nurtures their growth as individuals. Are you ready to become a better listener? In my next blog, I will share some ideas for improving listening skills.