The Pragmatic Case for Effective Listening

jenifer-grau

Jennifer Grau

Director,
Global Listening Centre.

The fastest, easiest, and least expensive time to correct a miscommunication is when it occurs. Taking action based on misunderstanding wastes time and money.

The more people involved, the more time and money wasted. Undoing these actions adds to the problem, and ….. the original task/issue still needs to be addressed. But skillful listening can change this.

Most people mistake hearing for listening. They offer partial attention, overlook implicit messages, and are blissfully unaware of how their assumptions and filters distort the speaker’s intended meaning.

Even when people are aware of the difference, they underestimate the challenge and lack the skills required to listen accurately and fully.

Active listening requires pausing and pondering the unique meaning a speaker intended, rather than overlay your meaning on those words, gestures, expressions, and context.

Technology has increased the volume, pace, and pressure of global communication making it increasingly likely that misunderstanding will occur.

Under this stress and strain, people often send unclear, incomplete, and confusing messages …. And we depend on these people to get our work done. In truth, we sometimes are these people.

If we do not develop and effectively use listening skills, our work is only as effective as the weakest communicator on our team.

I passionately urge you to take AT LEAST 51% of the responsibility for the accuracy of your communication, especially when you are the LISTENER.

Not only will your work outcomes improve, your relationships will improve as well.

The American economist and entrepreneur Bernard M. Baruch said “Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.”

Author Susie Michelle Cortright, notes that when listened to people “… feel worthy, appreciated, interesting, and respected. Ordinary conversations emerge on a deeper level, as do our relationships. When we listen, we foster the skill in others by acting as a model for positive and effective communication.” Finally, Ernest Hemingway said “I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.”

IMPROVE YOUR Listening. You won’t be sorry !

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