Learn How To Listen. Sounds easy doesn’t it? People believe they listen very well yet miss so much of the message that it becomes hard to believe them. So, why is it so hard to learn how to listen? Maybe it’s because we don’t have a listening class in our education system. There are classes in College but in K-12 there is no emphasis on listening skills.
Mr. Julian Treasure points out that we spend roughly 60 percent of our communication time listening, but we’re not very good at it. We retain just 25 percent of what we hear. Did you hear that?? 25% of what we hear we retain? My wife tells me this all the time and I never believed her, but now I do.
Learn how to listen levels:
There are 5 listening levels from the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey that are worth pointing out here. They are in order of how well you listen from worst to best.
• Ignoring – Making eye contact but thinking who else you can talk to that is more interesting
• Pretending – Making eye contact but thinking of something else like what to pick up from the store
• Selective – Listen to what you want to hear but not what you don’t
• Attentive – Really are giving our concentration but do miss some items
• Empathetic – Try to get the feelings behind the communication
By understanding these 5 levels, you can become aware of what level you are in when listening to someone. Make the conscious effort to learn how to listen and become an Empathetic listener as people talk with you. You will realize how much more information you retain once you focus on listening at this level. Like I’ve said before, the people doing the communicating will also notice how you listen to them, which they will greatly appreciate!
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