Are you listening?

The older I get the more I notice that we live in a world where there are more people that want to talk than want to listen. The art of listening has been lost for many I believe, with people fighting to make sure theirs is the opinion voiced and that no one else can get a word in edge ways. Talking a lot and talking about what you want to talk about seem to be some badge of success in professional and social realms.

I am a listener and I believe without listeners this world and the people in it wont be as successful as all of them could be. I also think there is much to applaud in those people that actually think before they talk and that are able to say the right things at the right time. Quality and quantity are two very different things and if you have a lot of quantity in what you say, the quality will be lost.

We’ve all been in those meetings when people are just talking for the sake of talking, because they need to be seen to be leading the conversation or having opinions on things to justify their involvement. In meetings I think it is always important to ask the opinions of the quieter ones because normally they are the ones listening and the ones that will have interesting insight in to the issues at hand.

We’ve all been at those parties and social gatherings where people are trying to dominate conversations to try and be the ‘cool’ one, trying to show off or just trying to make sure they get to talk about what they want to talk about. Sadly I think its these people that struggle to notice when people aren’t listening, so they might as well be talking to a brick wall. In many cases the more you talk the more people around you are switching off.

Some people think that by talking a lot you can hide an inadequacy, a lack of knowledge and that it impresses. I personally think it just highlights these things and doesn’t impress.

So remember, just by talking it doesn’t mean people are listening. Communication is a two way street, the more you show that you can listen the more people will want to listen to you. The art of talking should be about people listening. Don’t forget its not just about the words coming out of your lips its about your relationship with the people you are talking to and how they perceive you. I would work on these things first before opening my mouth to speak as if you do, the words coming out of your mouth are going to mean so much more.

Ask yourself this question – did you learn more by listening or by talking today? To improve as a person I always think it is more important to learn about more things than you could ever get round to talking about in your lifetime.


This week in the neighbouring city to us (Plymouth, England) they had the annual National Fireworks Championships, last year when it was on me and my wife were away but as we were home this year we made sure we were up there to watch.

I’ve got to say I love fireworks. To me fireworks symbolize celebrations and new beginnings as normally you see fireworks at celebrations, new years or if you are in America 4th of July.

I enjoy a spectacle and fireworks are just that, they are something that amaze and something that anyone who lives nearby can enjoy as no one can stop you looking up at the sky.

In Plymouth this week we gathered with thousands of others to watch and it was great to see how it was a real family event, with all generations sat together to watch the fireworks. That’s the great thing about fireworks, they appeal to all ages and something you can go to as a family.

When I looked around during the fireworks you could just see people looking up and smiling, taking in the wonder of what they were seeing, it was such a great thing to be apart of and such a feel good atmosphere enjoying fireworks in that way.

I have to say a big well done to everyone involved in staging the event in Plymouth and it is fantastic to have an event like it on our doorstep and an event that is free to go to.

Fireworks aren’t going to change the world but I think they can raise your spirits, bring smiles and give you hope.