Thought Starters

QOTW 2013: Week 8: I’m as busy as you. Who’s got time to listen to your story?

Today we have all the time in the world.

It’s that winter holiday Monday in Canada, Family Day, and not to forget our American friends, President’s Day. Let’s hope you get to enjoy it! We are taking full advantage of the holiday by slowing our roll, taking our time, getting some well due rest and by having a little fun.

That got me thinking about time and the rush of time we deal with everyday. It seems that there is less and less time as the days pass and yet there is always more and more to get done.

It’s a commonality for most working professionals and there have been books written, speeches given and conferences booked to demonstrate how we can be more effective, more efficient and find time saving techniques all to offer us opportunity to get more done faster.

Speaking of getting more done faster the header image has to be one of my favourite spoof ads of all time (and so fitting).

So, there you have it. Drink more coffee.

Think about that the next time you are in a conversation.

Actually, no! Wait!

That’s terrible, terrible advice.

Don’t think about that or anything else the next time you are in a conversation. That’s probably the worst thing any one of us could do. Right? Even if you feel like you don’t have the time it’s probably not going to be helpful not to listen nor is it going to appear that you actually care if you don’t.

It’s a bit common sense that we all know but is not always so common.

Take a look at this list which I pinched from the ILA (International Listening Association), an organization that our quote of the week contributor was a big part of. You have to admit we have all done these irritating things at times and you have to wonder if our impatience with time drives us to do this stuff.

  • Interrupting someone who’s talking.
  • Not looking at someone who’s talking to you.
  • Rushing someone and thereby making them feel that their wasting your time.
  • Showing interest in something other than the conversation.
  • Getting ahead someone and presumptuously finishing their thoughts.
  • Saying, “Yes, but…” before someone has finished their thought.
  • Forgetting what was discussed previously.

I don’t have to explain to you the impact these irritations have on any relationship; professional or personal. I am quite sure you get it.

That brings us to today’s quote.

Ralph Nichols was a leader, teacher and consultant in the field of listening. It strikes me kind of funny that a guy dedicated his career and life to listening. It almost seems Monty Python-esque in its description (can you imagine the skit?) however after perusing the ILA (International Listening Association) website I not only discovered some interesting tips and tricks to becoming a more effective listener but understand a little more about why Mr. Nichols dedicated his life to this pursuit.

So, listen up, people, Mr. Nichols has something to say!

If that doesn’t brighten your day then maybe this will.

What is it (remember, this is a family friendly site)?

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger has a long one.
  • Michael J. Fox has a short one.
  • Madonna doesn’t have one.
  • The Pope has one but doesn’t use it.
  • Bill Clinton uses his all the time.
  • Mickey Mouse has an unusual one.
  • Liberace never used his on women.
  • Jerry Seinfeld is very, very proud of his.
  • Cher claims that she took on 3.
  • We never saw Lucy use Desi’s.

What is it?

Have a great Monday and an awesome week.

If you want to read last week’s quote simply click here.






About this Author: Ralph Dopping (199 Posts)

A quirky sense-o-humour coupled with an indelible sense of stylish sarcasm makes it difficult to take the world too seriously doesn't it? My faves: fun, passion and hard work. I work here everyday:

bdorman264 1 Like

Last name........


I need to check out the ILA, even if it does sound Monty wife chides me all the time so I guess I better listen, up, huh? 

rdopping moderator 1 Like

 @bdorman264 My wife always says part of being a man is hearing the wah, wah, wah (Charlie Brown adult speaking) when a woman is talking. Joke, of course, but likely some truth in that. Now, I am sure when you are speaking with a client or customer you certainly avoid all those little nasty habits, right?

Lori 1 Like

Hi Ralph,

I enjoyed the riddle - and solved it without reading @KDillabough 's answer ;-)

We didn't have Family Day in New Brunswick though I hear they are considering it. I did have my Birthday yesterday, though, which gave me a day off!

Have a great week!


Latest blog post: What's on Your Nightstand?

rdopping moderator

 @Lori  @KDillabough Lori! OMG! When did you post this? It's Friday of another busy week (excuses, excuses). Thanks for dropping by. It's weird the NB doesn't get Family Day. Happy Belated Birthday to you through. Hope it was a good one!!!!!

suddenlyjamie 2 Like

Is @KDillabough right? Is it a last name? That was going to be my guess (though I admit, my mind went right into the gutter at first). 

rdopping moderator

@suddenlyjamie @KDillabough You got it! Hehehe......