There are many life skills that you need to have. One of them is listening skills. Do you know why is listening important? It is because people always keep on learning to communicate with each other from an early age until the end. As babies learning to talk by listening to their parents or things around them. Then they will try to say the words they hear. When we get older, we listen to other people for many purposes.
Why is Listening Important in Communication?
Based on the research of Adler, R, Rosenfeld, L. and Proctor, 2001, Adults spend an average of 70% of their time engaged in some sort of communication, of this an average of 45% is spent listening compared to 30% speaking, 16% reading, and 9% writing.
We listen for different reasons i.e.: to understand the message, to get new information, to do something. Moreover, to evaluate and judge, to appreciate or respect others, to sympathetic and empathetic about others, and many more.
But the most important thing is we listen to have an effective communication on our everyday life because every person always wanted to be listened to. Listening is different than hearing as it requires focus and other senses. The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen.
“Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention.”
~Rachel Naomi Remen
Nowadays, many people like to interrupting rather than being calm and listening to other people. You can see it in your own environment or on Television, where a person talks and others interrupting their own opinion or add more questions.
One of the examples was the American presidential debate on September 26, 2016, whereas Donald Trump interrupted Hillary Clinton 51 times, while she interrupted him for 11 times. By seeing these numbers, we can see that sometimes people forgot that To Lead is To Listen.
“To meet at all, one must open one’s eyes to another; and there is no true conversation no matter how many words are spoken, unless the eye, unveiled and listening, opens itself to the other.”
~ Jessamyn West.
The benefits of listening
Steve Jobs was a successful entrepreneur and a good listener. In 2002, when Jobs was attending a dinner, he was listening to a Microsoft employee. He boasted about a tablet computer software that using stylus or pen, as it’s written in Walter Isaacon’s Steve Jobs’ biography.
Then on May 20, 2007, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs interviewed at the All Things Digital (D5) conference. Gates was describing the future of computing in the next 5 years and Jobs was listening very carefully. On June 29, 2007, the 1st generation of iPhone using a multi-touched interface launched and 3 years later on 2010 the first iPad launched. He listened to ideas, not just words.
“I make progress by having people around me who are smarter than I am and listening to them. And I assume that everyone is smarter about something than I am.”
~ Henry J. Kaiser
When you are able to listen to other people fully, you will not only listen to the words they say, but you will recognize their emotions, body language, problems, needs, and goals.
“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” – Dalai Lama
To be a good listener you have to:
- Listen – do not talk, comment nor judge (except when the person asks you to speak after he/she finishes).
- Focus and relax.
- Smile to make the speaker comfortable when talking to you.
- Eye contact.
- Free your mind and hands(no phone please) pay more attention to the speaker by not doing anything else except listening.
- Try to put your shoes in his/her shoes.
- Be patient and tolerant.
- Observe the other person’s gestures, facial expressions, and eye-movements to see whether the other person listens to you.
“A good listener will listen not only to what is being said but also to what is left unsaid or only partially said.”
Being a good listener will give you benefits such as:
- Able to interact with other people with various personalities easily.
- Enriches knowledge.
- Confers respect and trust.
- More patient and tolerant.
- Less of misunderstanding.
- Having good relationships with others.
- Saves time.
- Enhance motivation and encouragement.
As listening is one of the important life skills, you have to teach your children how to be good listeners by being a good one for them. Yet you can always improve your listening skills for more knowledge, personal development, and career. When you listen to others saying, don’t forget to listen to your heart as well!😉
“Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.”
~ Dr. Karl Menninger