Let’s say you’re standing in line at Starbucks, minding your own business, and there’s a couple behind you in line having a little tiff about his mother, her aerobics instructor, or something like that. Be honest: you listen in, don’t you?
Of course you do; everyone does, because we’re interested in the drama of humanity–especially the ones we’re not supposed to know anything about. We love the little windows into others’ lives.
So, I say eavesdrop away! We do it anyway, so why not make it a habit and a practice, and listen in with conscious intent?
I appeal to your common sense, of course. I’m not saying you should bug your colleague’s office. I am saying you should pay attention to what other people are talking about. Take talk radio, for example.
Tune in to both right and left wing talk shows and you’ll pretty much be listening in on an entire national conversation. The key is to listen to both, not just the ones you subscribe to ideologically.
See how many ways you can come up with to listen to the conversations around you. Bonus points for the most creative (legal) answer.
Write what you’re hearing in your WUP. Between what you’re taking in with your ears (eavesdropping) and your eyes (scanning–see the previous post), you’ll have lots of ammo in your WUP to use in the next step of the process.