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Listening Is Hard To Do
By Zig Ziglar   Printer Friendly Version

There may be many things you can do on the job by yourself, but communicating is not one of them. To communicate it takes at least two people. And one of you has to be willing to listen!

Problem is, listening is tough work! We only retain about 20% of what we hear.

Want to know how to listen better? Here are several suggestions:

  • Mentally tune in to the speaker.
  • Consider the speaker's background.
  • Be aware of the speaker's job-related concerns, including pressures and deadlines, and length of time on the job.
  • Be aware of social and ethnic overtones. Don't inject your own experiences when interpreting the conversation.
  • Avoid jumping to conclusions about what the speaker is saying.
  • Take an active part in the communication. Mentally visualize what the speaker is saying.
  • Make it a habit to count slowly to three before responding to the other person.
  • Get into the "listening position" by leaning slightly forward, making eye contact with the speaker, and nodding your head to show you are receiving the message.
  • Give the speaker your full attention. You may be able to do something else while you listen, but how do you think that makes the speaker feel?

If you learn to listen better, you'll communicate more effectively.

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