How Well do You Listen?
“Are you listening…Really listening?” Mk 4:9 TM
Studies show we forget 50 percent of what we hear immediately, 80 percent within a day, and 97 percent within a week. So what’s the solution? When you listen, make understanding your goal, not just remembering facts. Great learners are great listeners; that’s why they always have a flow of fresh ideas. The truth is, you’ll never know how close you are to a breakthrough or a blessing until you learn to listen. Be honest. How often have you said you’re going to spend more time listening to the people in your life who matter? Start doing it, because if you don’t show up for life’s “special moments,” before you know it there will be none left to show up for. The people who really listen to us become the most important people in our lives. If you want to be one of them, you must do three things: (1) Look directly at the speaker. Don’t belittle someone by catching up on work, talking on the phone, or tweeting and texting while they’re talking. Focus on them! (2) Don’t interrupt. When you do that, people think you don’t place much value on what they’re saying. Or that you’re trying to impress them with how much you know. Or you’re too excited by what you have to add to the conversation to let them finish. (3) Suspend your judgment. Wait to hear the whole story before you respond. If you don’t, chances are you’ll miss the most important things the speaker has to say. Can you think of anyone you haven’t been listening to lately? The good news is it’s not too late to become a good listener.