Download: MP3 (84.2 MB)

Someone shared a tweet by John Mayer:

“I don’t wanna talk on the phone but I’ll trade voice notes with you for 90 minutes.”

I thought it was pretty funny. I know I catch myself sending tons of texts or voice notes before realizing I could have saved time by calling.

Obviously, the biggest reason for the rise in popularity of audio clips is asynchronous communication: people want everything (including conversations) on their own time.

But more interestingly, I think people also want to be heard. When you send a voice memo (as opposed to making a phone call), it forces the other person to actually listen to your message. They can’t interrupt a recording.

Most people aren’t listeners, they’re wait-to-talkers.

This begs the question: Why is it that we are such poor listeners even though we all so desperately want to be heard?

There may be something to slowing down the communication method and forcing each party to actually listen to each other.

Highlights, Takeaways, & Quick Wins:
  • Many people put their own thoughts above listening to others. But if you want someone to understand you, you must make them feel heard and understood first.
  • People want to be heard. In a lot of conversations, both people are simply waiting to talk.
  • If you really want to be heard, listen first, understand, make sure the other person knows that you understand, then communicate your message and verify that the other person understands you.
  • When you are interested in other people, you seem more interesting to them.
  • The only way you know you’ve communicated effectively is if you hear your message coming from the other person.
  • It may seem inefficient to ask the other person to repeat back what they hear you saying, but the biggest inefficiency is not having real communication happen at all.
  • If someone doesn’t understand you, it’s not their fault for misunderstanding, it’s your fault for not being more clear. Always take responsibility for communicating your message.