Where to start, this could be a small book. I will try to make a quick point to get your juices flowing. Of course no writing on communication would be complete without talking about listening. The block I refer to in the title is our inability to stop and hear another persons opinion. We have very strong opinions about many subjects. These subjects are usually bathed in bias, conviction, prejudice and sometimes just plain old tradition. When someone starts to speak on a subject, we will call it gun control, the hair is already standing on the back of our necks. I am not taking a side right now for those that have their hair standing, I am talking about the passion it produces in many people. The need for people to see things our way becomes very real on this topic, many topics if we are honest. We become angered with the discussion before the discourse develops. During the course of conversation, if you could call it a conversation, our frustration turns toward the person in front of us. Strong words usually start to appear, words that are personal, words that lump people together in groups. Soon, and usually measured in seconds, the discussion becomes a debate, in the absence of strong talking points we start to insult one another. Absolutely nothing is resolved, yet, we feel vindicated in our purpose and we retreat to talk with similar minded people. This process is played out many times for our children to see and hear. They grown up in an environment that shows compromise is weakness and winning at all cost is the important goal. We as a people are at an impasse and nothing changes. No compromise, no dialogue, no sharing of ideas. Good, better and best is a pipe dream. Check your speech today and see if you fall into any of these molds that have been mentioned in this article? Try to listen to someone you vehemently disagree with this week. Let them rant without adding to the conversation, and then when all seems lost, ask them a question. What do you want from me? It allows the air to slightly come out of the balloon. You have begun the most important phase of conversation, listening. You are starting to remove our biggest communication block. Thanks for lending me your ear for a few moments.