Do not get lost in la-la land!

Only listening to what you wish to hear and ignoring the rest is termed filtered listening. Have you ever experienced the same? As human beings, we quickly jump to a conclusion as soon as we get to know the topic of discussion, and assume that we know the rest. This is when we may miss out on important aspects of information and key takeaways. Listening is an active process. While reading this blog, most of you may assume that okay, we need to listen carefully to complete discussions and conversations. Well, that is not the only thing that will be covered within this blog post.

The presumption could lead to unpleasant consequences. We generally come across this statement: good listeners are more efficient than good speakers, and one must be a good listener. But, when we have a mindset which presumes everything and we believe, ‘okay yeah I have heard this before, then trust me, without realizing, we may miss out on the minute details and attention to detail would be always a missing aspect in our daily routine. Mistakes are bound to happen even when you are a patient listener, for you may pay attention to only a part of the complete discussion (on the basis of your interest). Nowadays, attention to detail is an important aspect of a job, and employers expect their employees to have it in them.


  • Never prejudge someone on the basis of a past experience.
  • Never prejudge someone with negativity.
  • Never prejudge someone on the basis of rumors.

If we listen to someone on the basis of experience, negativity, and rumors then we may not be ready to accept what the other person is trying to convey in his/her message. Listening to someone without any past judgment is similar to the process of ‘first unlearning and then learningUnlearning what you already know about the topic or a person’s character and then learning what is in store for you by paying complete attention. Do not allow your thoughts to wander.

When does filtered listening kick in?
  • Placating: In Hindi, we call it, “Haan mei Haan Milana”. Placating is to make Intend someone less angry and agreeing quickly without considering whether the person is right or wrong. When we just wish to be in the good books of others so as to appease them, we don’t end up listening to what is being conveyed, and quickly agree with whatever the other person says. Always in a hurry to portray a good picture of ourselves in front of others, we lose the art of listening in between.
  • Criticism and feedbacks: When faced with criticism and feedback, offensiveness kicks in. When offensive kicks in, we are not in a great mood to listen carefully about what is being conveyed to us and miss out on the scope of improvement. We then try our level best to prove ourselves right anyhow. In an argument to prove ourselves right, we twist the facts and make excuses, so that we don’t lose the cold war.
  • Comparison: When we are always in a spirit of comparison and a state of self-assessment, we pay attention to only those words or ideas which matter to us, and the rest is ignored. Comparison leads to distraction when listening to a speech or conversation.

Filtered listening could lead to ambiguity and it is definitely not a healthy aspect in all sorts of conversations and discussions. I would like to end here with a quote: “We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are”

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