Eighty percent of our success in learning from other people is based on how well we listen. Most people think listening is a passive activity. Not true.
Good listeners regard what they do as a highly active process — with every muscle engaged, especially the brain. There are three things good listeners do:
- Think before they speak.
- Listen with respect.
- Gauge their response by asking themselves, “Is it worth it?”
The ability to make a person feel that he or she is the most important (and only) person in the room is the skill that separates the great from the near-great. The great ones do it all the time.
You Probably Don’t Listen as Effectively as You Think You Do … and You Probably Don’t Know It
Almost everyone sincerely believes that he or she listens effectively. Consequently, very few people think they need to develop their listening skills. But, in fact, listening effectively is something that very few of us do. It’s not because listening effectively is so difficult. Most of us have just never developed the habits that would make us effective listeners.
Research has found that by listening effectively, you will get more information from the people you manage, you will increase others’ trust in you, you will reduce conflict, you will better understand how to motivate others, and you will inspire a higher level of commitment in the people you manage.
A study of over 8,000 people employed in businesses, hospitals, universities, the military and government agencies found that virtually all of the respondents believed that they communicate as effectively or more effectively than their co-workers. However, research definitively shows that the average person listens at only about 25% efficiency.