According to the Gottman Institute in Seattle, three years ago the average listening time of even professional listeners was 20 seconds. Now it is 11. Eleven seconds!
And so we interrupt. All of us. We move through our days and years interrupting others and failing to foil it when others interrupt us.
Interruption diminishes us. It diminishes our thinking. In the face of it, our own thinking barely has a chance to form. That means that our decisions are weaker; our relationships are thinner. Interruption of thinking is so destructive, in fact, that what we have produced as a species, however advanced it may be in the animal kingdom, is probably inferior to the achievements the uninterrupted human mind might have produced over those eons.
We are all guilty of interrupting – but if we all just stopped and listened, argues Nancy Kline, we could radically change the way we live… and have better conversations with our donors and supporters.