Selective Listening

Listening seems to be something that is getting harder for the world everyday. As a newly married women, I finally understand what women mean when they say men only hear what they want to hear. Yesterday morning, I asked Eric, my husband, to take out the trash. That afternoon I walked into the kitchen and realized the trash had still not been taken out. When I asked him why he hadn’t done it yet, he replied, “What?!? I never heard you ask me that.” I replied, “How did you not hear me? I was sitting right beside you.” And then I finally understood the concept ‘Selective Listening’.

Many times when we blog or post something on a social media site as a nonprofit organization, we use ‘Selective listening’ as well. We only hear what we want to hear. Yet the concept of listening is very important to blogging and social media.  Listening to the world is key to blogging and a successful marketing plan. It is so easy to only hear what we or our organization has to say and not listen to the rest of the world but it is important to listen everywhere. Kivi Miller writes in ROI of Listening: 17 Things to Do with What You Hear that listening everywhere can result in your community thriving, your organization prospering, your individual programs growing, and your own personal career soaring. But once we listen everywhere, what do we do with what we hear? Kivi mentions 17 different things but the ones I found most important are:

1. Knock down your writers block.

2. Find your niche.

3. Pick up a reality check.

4. Be relevant.

5. Start conversations with potential new supporters.

Being relevant may be hard for nonprofits since things can get so busy its easy to forget what is going in the rest of the world. Staying away from selective listening can keep a nonprofit connected the world around it. Selective listening isn’t easy. It is something that takes practice but it will pay off in the end.


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