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A NY Times article about the art of listening and the constant battle against noise caught my eye last weekend. One paragraph resonated with me:

“We have become insensitive to listening,” he said. “The most important thing you can do to become a better listener is to simply go to a naturally quiet place and allow your senses to open up again. When you become a better listener to nature, you become a better listener to your community, your children, the people you work with.”

I believed for a while that marketers get overpaid for talking and barely reimbursed for listening. It’s time to switch that model around.And, yes, many  companies are talking about listening or Social Listening. Am I the only one that feels this is just another excuse for brands to talk more?

Does anybody ever really listen anymore? Just look around at conferences, especially Social Media conferences. Is there one person really listening? Or are we all too busy talking, creating snarky tweets? How can we as an industry recommend listening as a #1 tactic for all brands to dive into Social Media while we are busy sharing our lunch place on Foursquare? Most often than not, instead of listening to what is being said to us, we are already listening to what we’re going say in response.

I think it’s time for us take a break from all the noise and signals and explore silence again. If you’ve experienced complete silence, you know it has the loudest voice. A voice we need to hear again.