Would you be surprised to learn that most of us only listen with about 25 percent efficiency? Another way to look at it is that we only hear one in every four words. It’s not
because listening effectively is so difficult, it’s because we believe we already listen better than the average person and therefore, we do not need to improve our listening effectiveness.
You might change your point of view when I tell you that those who listen effectively are 40 percent more likely to be more effective leaders.
That’s because when we listen effectively, we:
- Get more information from others
- Show ourselves to be more trustworthy
- Reduce conflict
- Better understand how to motivate others
- Inspire a higher level of commitment to shared goals
Listening well and leading well are closely associated because when we listen effectively, we show our concern for others, and that bonds us together with commitment and trust.
Listening well tends to eliminate interpersonal conflicts before they start, and when conflicts do emerge, they are more likely to be resolved in a way that benefits all parties.
Listening well helps us understand what motivates others and what makes them angry. It helps us realize when they are discouraged. Listening well tells us how they like to be recognized and rewarded for a job well done.
Others know we are listening to them when we show them we are absorbing the information they are giving us. They can tell we are interested in what they are saying. We provide feedback. We carefully choose the right words and pair those words with the right non-verbal cues to show that we have heard them and understood them.
Live Honest, Open and True
Listening well can improve any relationship and make a good relationship stronger. To borrow from a popular phrase, the more we hear, the more we know. What one thing can you do to make yourself a better listener? Are you willing to do that thing?
Do you have a suggestion for how we can listen more effectively? Tell me about it in the comments or tweet me @lifeishotblog with the hash tag #LifeIsHOT!