Overcome Your Listening Shortcomings

Adrian S. Potter
4 min readMar 16, 2024

We have all been snakebit by conversations with lousy listeners.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-in-red-polo-shirt-sitting-near-chalkboard-3779448/

While pouring your heart out, a friend is already formulating their response, barely registering a word you are uttering.

During a meeting, a colleague keeps checking her text messages, only partially paying attention to your presentation.

Despite your repeated requests for help, your partner continues talking about their problems, oblivious to your needs.

We have all been snakebit by conversations with lousy listeners. And it feels, well, lousy.

Several factors contribute to individuals struggling with listening and understanding others.

1. Lack of Attention

In today’s fast-paced world, distractions abound, making it challenging for individuals to maintain focus during conversations. Just as a radio signal might get interrupted by static or interference, distractions such as smartphones, background noise, or personal worries can disrupt the reception of information during communication.

2. Preoccupation with Personal Thoughts

Sometimes, people are so absorbed in their thoughts, concerns, or opinions that they fail to actively listen to what others are saying. This is akin to…



Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity · www.adrianspotter.com