One of the most important skills you can have is the skill of listening. How well you listen, or don’t listen, has a major impact the overall quality of your relationships with others.
Why is listening important? There are several reasons, and some of these I am listing below:
We listen to obtain information.
We listen to understand.
We listen for enjoyment.
We listen to learn.
One would think that with the importance of listening, and considering that we do so much listening that we would excel in it. Sadly, this is not the case. In my experience with people, and depending on the study being quoted, we remember between 25% and 50% of what we hear. That means that anytime you talk to another person for 10 minutes, they have been paying attention to less than half of the conversation. This is a fundamental reason for mis-communication.
Turn the numbers around and it reveals that when you are receiving directions or being presented with information, you aren’t hearing the entire message either. You may hope the important parts are captured in your 25-50%, but what if they’re not?
I trust that you see my point; listening is a skill that we can all benefit from improving. When you become a better listener, you improve your productivity, along with your ability to influence, persuade and motivate. Best of all, you’ll do better at understanding conflict by avoiding misunderstandings. Plus, your relationships will flourish.
I’ll be sharing more on active listening in the upcoming days, so stay connected to the blog.
Please feel free to add your comments to this post.