TED Talk by Julian Treasure

“We are losing our listening,” says leading sound expert Julian Treasure in his short but fascinating TED Talk.

With the invention of recording, writing, audio and video recording, the premium on accurate and careful listening has simply disappeared. And, Treasure says, “we are living in a world that gets louder and louder.”

Treasure defines listening as making meaning from sound and believes that we must listen with intention. It is, he says, “the main way we experience the flow of time from past to future. And it is our access to understanding.”

Not too long ago, I wrote a blog titled “Are you hard of listening?” in which, like Treasure, I address the fact that active listening requires thoughtful attention to the meaning being conveyed. Focus and a genuine desire to understand often lead to authentic interaction with others.

“The premium on accurate and careful listening has simply disappeared,” continues Treasure, who notes that the art of conversation is being replaced by personal broadcasting and impatience. “We want sounds bites,” he says. Treasure talks about how noisy our world has become, desensitizing us and causing our media to have to “scream at us to get us to pay attention, especially to the subtle, the quiet and the understated.” Chairman of the Sound Agency and advisor to worldwide businesses on how to use sound, he asks us to pay attention to the sounds that surround us and think about how they make us feel.

In this TED Talk, Treasure shares five ways to re-tune our ears for conscious listening to other people and the world around us. I urge you to listen to these important tips and to Treasure’s explanation of the acronym RASA, which is the Sanskrit word for juice.