I am consciously working to be a better listener, learning to not just hear what is going on around me or the feedback that people give me. But also to internalise and understand why people may be saying what they are saying.

You may be familiar with term active listening. If you aren’t you should check it out. The reason I refer to it here, is because there is a lot of noise in the world around us. When someone takes the time to give you feedback or criticises you, don’t go into reaction mode. Listen to it and try to understand what you could have done differently, we are continuously learning after all.

While learning biology at high school, I was taught about positive and negative feedback loops as well as symbiotic relationships. Feedback loops fascinate me, because they highlight how a system can constantly learn and improve. As my mind was processing some of the points raised in the podcasts, I was reminded how our interactions with others are often influenced by feedback loops. Do we pay enough attention to listening to this feedback, before we respond? Are we addressing the actual question/problem or are we working within our biased responses?

Listening isn’t always easy, but it forms a vital part of multiple feedback loops that we experience on a daily basis. Next time you have a conversation with someone, ask yourself whether you have actually listened to them and understood the questions they have asked you. Being more conscious of how we listen, could help us make better decisions and communicate effectively.

This week’s selection of podcasts look at the way we learn; discussions around changes to Instagram TV and Snapchat’s future; Ben Thompson chats through Apple’s future following their latest conference and what it means for the iPhone; Conversational marketing, niche networks and lessons from Sangram Vajre.