Listen & silent have the same letters. This isn’t by accident!
We have 2 ears and 1 mouth 😉. Instantly become a better sales person, spouse or parent by actively listening. Listening is one of the most important skills you can have – I know I’ve been challenged with distractions etc. How well you listen has a major impact on your life.
Given all the listening that we do, you would think we’d be good at it – however research suggests that we only remember between 25% – 50% of what we hear (according to Edgar Dale’s Cone of Experience). That means that when you’re talking, people only pay attention to less than half of the conversation.
When you’re receiving directions or being presented with information, you’re likely to only take in 25% – 50%.
The way to improve your listening skills is to practice “active listening.” This is where you make a conscious effort to hear not only the words that another person is saying but, more importantly, the complete message being communicated.
In order to do this you have to pay attention to the other person – which is even harder in this day and age (tried getting a teenagers attention recently?).
You can’t allow yourself to become distracted by whatever else may be going on around you (e.g. phone), or by forming counter arguments while the other person is still speaking. Nor can you allow yourself to get bored, and lose focus on what the other person is saying.
If you’re finding it particularly difficult to concentrate on what someone is saying, try repeating their words mentally as they say them. This will reinforce their message and help you to stay focused.