Monday Odds & Ends
Are You A Good Listener?
Listening is an art. Yesterday I was flipping thru Kate Murphy’s ‘You are not listening ‘ and I was impressed with her take on what is wrong with the direction that an ever faster world is taking:
“At work, we’re taught to lead the conversation. On social media, we shape our personal narratives. At parties, we talk over one another. So do our politicians.
We’re not listening. And no one is listening to us. Now more than ever, we need to listen to those around us.
Listening has the potential to transform our relationships and our working lives, improve our self-knowledge, and increase our creativity and happiness. While it may take some effort, it’s a skill that can be learnt and perfected.”
I like to consider myself a pretty good listener. I have lots of patience when dealing with others. I try to make the effort. It must be admitted, however, that being a good listener in the chess world is sometimes made more difficult than it should be because chess players generally like to talk too much about themselves.
I find that most — though not all — top players have highly developed narcissistic tendencies and are very good at hijacking the narrative of a discussion over to themselves.
It can be mildly annoying. Even more frustrating is the online trend to cater to this at many of leading social media chess blogs/sites (ChessBase, ChessCom, Chess24, and FideCom readily come to mind) where narcissism is fed with a steady supply of hero-worship and self-infatuation.
Often to the exclusion of 99.9% of everything else that is taking place in the chess world. Since when has chess become so elitist? It does not seem natural to me that social media should be turning online chess into a sort of celebrity tabloid.
But I digress…so let me leave the reader with the thought that if you try to listen to what other people are saying just a bit more everyday then you can help transform the world to a better place.
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