Listening is one of those really interesting phenomenon, because, except if we're deaf, we all do it . . .but how many of us do it well?
And if we think we do it well, is that actually the same as doing it well?
In spoken communication, only 7% of meaning comes from the actual words! 55% comes from body language and 38% from the way in which the words are spoken. Did you know that? That means that in order to truly understand what you were saying, somebody would need to give you their undivided attention . . .or vice versa . . .how often does that happen?
Did you know that words are processed by our short-term memory, where we can only retain about 7 bits of information, whereas images go straight into our long term memory to be stored. I guess, if we follow that logic through, then what people say will be both easier to understand and remember if we are paying full attention and watching them speak?
We can listen at a rate of 125-250 words per minute, but we can think at a rate of 1000-3000 words per minute. So, I guess how you are listening, would make a difference as to how well you heard that person too. Do you know what I mean? Like, if you are listening to hear, you will be fully immersed in what that person is saying and their meaning. But, if you are listening to fix, or resolve (or not really listening at all), your mind can be off a mile a minute making references all over the place for you, allowing you to fairly easily lose track of what it is that person is saying, or losing their meaning as you attach one of your own.
And given all of those complications, isn't it fascinating, that only 2% of us have any formal training in listening skills!
If you would like to develop your listening skills and knowledge, whilst also supporting a fantastic local charity, you are very welcome to join us on our 2 day Introduction to Active Listening Course being run here next Tuesday 17th and the Tuesday after 24th. You can book this directly through our website at www.mumanurture.org/book-online or for further information email firstname.lastname@example.org