Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The importance of Listening Well

The importance of effective listening can hardly be overstated. Although the mythical Martian nonsense of Orson Welles occurs only once in a lifetime, other less spectacular listening situations occur every day.

It is obvious that a worker who completely ignores what his boss is saying will soon be out on the street. But what about the man who customarily hears part-but only part-of what his boss is saying? He is pretty likely to make it to the street, too, though it may take a little longer.

The effective listener, on the other hand, has a tremendous advantage on any kind of job. He hears what is being said, he acts on it. He evaluates what is being said, and he profits by it. He has the reputation of being sharper than his fellow workers -and he is.

Of course, all people except the totally deaf listen to some extent. Yet few people listen well; few people hear everything that is said. Few people try to “read between the lines” when they are listening. These people do not realize that failure to listen properly is both a deterrent to effective learning and a roadblock to personal success.

Listening is not really a simple matter. Contrary to Popular opinion, it requires much more than just keeping one's mouth shut. Everyone in high school or college has seen students Who stare raptly at the teacher for a full period, apparently Wideawake, seeming to digest every word, every nuance. These same students, judging by tests or oral questions, seem to have learned nothing and heard not a word.

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