March is International Listening Awareness Month. Take a few minutes today to close your eyes and open your ears. Listen for the sounds that disappear when you are automatically going through your day.
Did you know that we derive 55% of a message’s meaning from the speaker’s facial expressions, 38% from how she says the message and only 7% from the actual words spoken?
What do you hear?
Machinery? Music? Sirens?
Whispers and longing?
- We listen to people at a rate of 125-250 words per minute, but think at 1,000-3,000 words per minute.*
- Less than 2 percent of people have had any formal education on how to listen.*
- Images go into your long term memory, while words live in your short term memory. We can only retain seven bits of information at a time…which is why we have 7 digit phone numbers.*
Listening is the foundation to understanding, digesting, then acting or reacting to situations. The perspective to decide if a comment is a complaint or a compliment, a criticism or a solid suggestion for improvement…listening beyond assumptions.
In business or personal relationships we want to be listened to…validated…cared for…and heard.
“Listening is such a simple act. It requires us to be present, and that takes practice, but we don’t have to do anything else. We don’t have to advise, or coach, or sound wise. We just have to be willing to sit there and listen.” – Margaret J. Wheatley – author
Who listens to you?
What and who do you hear?
*statistics resource GetInFrontCommunications
photo credit: Dreamstime.com