I have been saying for years that we all have a committee, so to speak, in our heads that helps us know if our comments are appropriate or not.
People say things and I think to myself, ‘did you run that by the committee first’. I’m sure most of us know someone who continually says inappropriate things that lack the basics of common sense. If it happens to be in print, such as an email or social media, it seems even worse because the “proof is in the pudding.”
On any given day you receive an email and respond accordingly, however in my case my responses are always overly communicative providing more information than was necessary. The next thing you know an email has been sent back asking more questions to which you have already provided answers. You slowly shake your head in amazement at others lack of attention to detail. Did they use their brain first? Did they take the time to even read your words or were they so busy focusing on what they needed that your due diligence was overlooked? Did they run that by the committee first? Clearly the answer is no they did not use their brain first.
Based on research gleaned from a quick Google search, which we all know to be 100% factual, the average attention span for healthy adults is 10-20 minutes. That’s insane and what makes it worse is that those of us who have ADD or ADHD are only at 50-70% of that time frame. Based on these factual google statistics my attention span is like 10 minutes, tops. This unfortunate realization begs the question, “how am I going to get anything done within a 10 minute window?” With attention spans this short across the board how do any of us hold down jobs, sit through hours of training, stay quiet during church or even have a conversation with our spouse? The statistics go on to say that the reason attention spans are dropping is due to (1) being overloaded by decisions and (2) stress. Clearly I’m stressed because people don’t read the email correctly the first time and I now I’m overloaded with decisions on how to handle this ridiculous situation. Should I email them back politely or call them out on their lack of prudence? In all honesty, I usually say naughty things out loud, compose myself and respond with some level of civility.
How do we get better at listening to others and taking time to read things correctly? All I can come up with is brain training. We just have to keep practicing using our brains and our skills appropriately. It sounds lame even as I type it out; we need to use our brains correctly. This is such a novel idea it might just work. If anyone happens to learn how to listen longer and communicate more effectively please share the good news with all of us.
Keep calm and remember that patience is a virtue.