Are You Listening?

secret 5Are you listening or are you just waiting for the other person to take a breath so you can jump in and take over the conversation? Research conducted by Dr, Ralph Nichols revealed that individuals listen about 25% of the time; most people recall only 50% of what they hear, and 70% of all misunderstandings happen because people don’t listen to each other. The study concluded that grade school-aged children listen to their teacher just 25% of the time. By the time that student graduates from high school they are listening to the teacher just 17% of the time. Based on those percentages how much do you think they are listening by the time they start working for you?

Worth Remembering … “There is no such thing as a bad listener. There is only a person with inflexible listening habits” – Doug Larson

When you change the habit you change the result. We are adults and we can learn new habits. All you have to do is stop doing one thing and start doing another and if you do it often enough – 21 times in a row – it will become your new habit.

Listening is a learned behaviour. You won’t hear a thing if you are the only one talking. The next time you are having a conversation with someone here are 3 things you can do to become a more “active” listener.

  • Be patient with yourself and the speaker. Do not interrupt. Concentrate on what the other person is saying. When they have finished speaking, ask questions for clarity so you know and they know you’ve heard what was said.
  • Focus on the speaker. Put your phone away, put down that paper and pen and face the speaker. Give the speaker your undivided attention. Don’t cross your arms, be sure to smile and nod your head once in a while so the speaker knows you’re still listening.
  • Try not to become emotional. React and respond to what is being said – not who is saying it. Respect the fact that people have a right to express their opinion but you don’t have to agree with it. We are adults and we can agree to disagree.

Worth Remembering“In the industrial age, the CEO sat on the top of the hierarchy and didn’t have to listen to anybody. In the information age, you have to listen to the ideas of people regardless of where they are in the organization.” – John Sculley

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