KAREN SHAPER, MSA

"We become what we think about all day long." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Become a Better Listener

“The most basic of human needs is the need to understand and to be understood. The best way to understand people, is to listen to them.” Ralph Nichols

Listening is one of the most valuable skills you can have. How well you listen has a major impact on your job effectiveness, and on the quality of your relationships with others. We spend 45 percent of our time listening compared to 16 percent reading, 30 percent speaking, and 9 percent writing.

Why do we listen:

  • We listen to obtain information.
  • We listen to understand.
  • We listen for enjoyment.
  • We listen to learn.

Given all this listening we do, you would think we'd be good at it! In fact, most of us are not, and research suggests that we remember between 50 percent of what we hear immediately after we hear it and only 35 percent with-in 8 hours, and 25 percent after 2 months. This means that when you talk to your boss, colleagues, customers or spouse for 10 minutes, they pay attention to less than half of the conversation.

Think about when you are listening how well are you receiving directions or being presented in a conversation.

Clearly, listening is a skill that we can all benefit from improving. By becoming a better listener, you will learn more, have better relationships, and become more success in life.