Excerpt from one of the my workshop about Listening Skill:
Listening is one of the most important 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 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 25 percent and 50 percent of what we hear. That 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.
Clearly, listening is a skill that we can all benefit from improving. By becoming a better listener, you will improve your productivity, as well as your ability to influence, persuade and negotiate.
Before refrigerators, people used ice-houses to preserve their food. Ice-houses had thick walls, no windows and a tightly fitted door. In winter, when streams and lakes were frozen, large blocks of ice were cut, hauled to the ice-houses and covered with sawdust. Often the ice would last well into the summer.
One man lost a valuable watch while working in an ice-house. He searched diligently for it, carefully raking through the sawdust, but didn’t find it. His fellow workers also looked, but their efforts, too, proved futile. A small boy who heard about the fruitless search slipped into the ice-house during the noon hour and soon emerged with the watch.
Amazed, the men asked him how he found it.
I closed the door,” the boy replied, “lay down in the sawdust, and kept very still. Soon I heard the watch ticking.”
Good listening is like tuning in a radio station. For good results, you can listen to only one station at a time. Trying to listen to my wife while looking over an office report is like trying to receive two radio stations at the same time. I end up with distortion and frustration. Listening requires a choice of where I place my attention. To tune into my partner, I must first choose to put away all that will divide my attention. That might mean laying down the newspaper, moving away from the dishes in the sink, putting down the book I’m reading, setting aside my projects.