Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens. This quote by Jim Hendrix really speaks to me because I feel like everyone has so much to say these days, but very few people are good listeners. Everyone wants to speak about their knowledge and just how much of it they have. I find it so self-serving to always talk, but to never listen to others around you. People are just waiting for their next opportunity to say something without taking in what the other person is telling them. Public service announcement… not everything is about you.
Pause & Absorb Your Surroundings
Take a beat and absorb the world around you. Listen to a new and different perspective. Absorb more knowledge by listening to the great minds that surround you. Realize that there are other ideas that are just as effective as your own. Reach the understanding that the ability to utilize group knowledge will empower you to do amazing things.
Diversity of Ideas & Perspectives
I think it’s important to encourage a diversity of ideas, but first that requires acknowledging the value of people with varying experiences. These varying experiences allows people to view things through different contextual lenses. Listening to other perspectives is like stepping into someone else’s shoes and seeing the world through their eyes. It enables you to empathize with their feelings and opinions.
Empathy is probably the most important ingredient to a good listener, which is why it’s important to have empathy as a designer (especially a UX designer). As a designer you need to be able to empathize with your users. Designers need to understand their pain points, struggles, and goals. It’s how we gain insight into how to create the best solution for our users. All of the insight is gained through LISTENING.
If you listen, it’s amazing what people will tell you. Next time you get into an Uber and your driver decides to be a chatty Cathy, instead of rolling your eyes and making it awkward, I encourage you to practice your listening skills. I have some of the most interesting and unique conversations with my Uber drivers. Also, I now have the ability to turn a grumpy driver into someone that cheerfully shares his story with me and smiles while he/she does it. Talk about skills! After hearing a unique and different perspective, I leave feeling enriched and wiser. I walk away from that conversation feeling more connected to the world and the people in it.
Listening is how we connect with the world and creating these connections is how we unite as a community and start utilizing “group-thinking” in very advantageous ways that can change the world.
Check out my blog!
If you like the image I created, you can buy awesome products with the graphic on it here.