listenWith so much chatter in our everyday lives, opportunities to listen more abound.  Listening is a skill that everyone should want to be great at so what exactly does it take?  This may or may not be coincidental, but the letters in the word silence and listen are the same.  Read on for more. 

Listening is a bit like intelligence—most everyone thinks they’re above average, even though that’s impossible.

And listening is a skill you want to be great at. A recent study conducted at George Washington University showed that listening can influence up to 40% of a leader’s job performance.

“The word listen contains the same letters as the word silent.” –Alfred Brendel

There’s so much talking happening at work that opportunities to listen well abound. We talk to provide feedback, explain instructions, and communicate deadlines. Beyond the spoken words, there’s invaluable information to be deciphered through tone of voice, body language, and what isn’t said.

In other words, failing to keep your ears (and eyes) open could leave you out of the game.

Most people believe that their listening skills are where they need to be, even though they aren’t. A study at Wright State University surveyed more than 8,000 people from different verticals, and almost all rated themselves as listening as well as or better than their co-workers. We know intuitively that many of them are wrong.

1. Focus. The biggest mistake most people make when it comes to listening is they’re so focused on what they’re going to say next or how what the other person is saying is going to affect them that they fail to hear what’s being said. The words come through loud and clear, but the meaning is lost. Focusing may seem like a simple suggestion, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Your thoughts can be incredibly distracting.  Continue reading

by Travis Bradberry, repost from Forbes

Tags: listening, listen, communication, listening skills