Listening Skills: How Well Do You Listen?
by Carol Brown
Two Ears And One Mouth
It has been said that there’s a reason that we have two ears and only one mouth. Listening is such a crucial activity yet we devote so little effort to doing it well. It is essential for building healthy relationships and successful partnerships. Here are some important facts that can help improve your listening and interpersonal skills.
We can spend 80 percent of our waking time involved in four communications tasks: reading, writing, speaking or listening.
Of these four activities, listening accounts for 45 percent of our communication time. Yet we give little attention to this part of the communication process, simply taking it for granted that everyone knows how to listen; a false assumption.
Listening is such a passive activity, we hardly pay attention to it. In fact, most of us find the prolonged concentration required for truly effective listening too hard to maintain.
Consider this: We only retain 25 percent of what we hear. Why?
The average person speaks at about 130 words per minute. Our thinking speed is about 500 words per minute. Consequently, we jump ahead of what is actually being said. This causes our minds to wander and we are actually thinking about other things, such as what we are going to say next.
While everybody “knows” how to listen, not everybody practices effective listening which can rapidly improve communications, strengthen relationships and form strong interpersonal skills for work and family success.
Rarely do people take the time to reflect on the quality of their listening skills. In fact, the only time we may become aware of them is when there's been a breakdown in communication, and by then we are in defensive mode instead of learning mode.
How well do you listen?
When was the last time you asked your partner, your boss, or a trusted peer for feedback on your communication skills? For most of us, this is far too risky.
Attending a Cazbro Listening Skills Workshop can help you develop effective listening techniques, practice active listening and is a safe way to improve without risk. For information about our Listening Skills, or any of our other workshops and courses, you can email us or if you'd prefer to speak to Carol call her on 07803 172198. She's a fantastic listener! :~)