Why You May Not Be a Good Listener
After the August
column asked the question: “How Good a Listener are you?”
several folks asked me to tell why we aren’t good listeners. Here are
five common reasons:
- Learning not to listen. We have discovered that many times it is
to our advantage to pretend that we didn’t hear what was being
said. Husbands seem especially adept at not hearing what wives tell
- Thinking about what we are going to say rather than listening to
the person talking to us. Yet in planning our response we often miss
the point the other person is making and when we do speak, our
response doesn’t make sense.
- Talking when we should be listening. Someone observed that “we
have two ears and only one mouth, so we should spend at least twice
as much time listening as talking.” Unfortunately many people do
just the reverse.
- Hearing what we expect to hear rather than what is said. Our
expectations and predispositions often cloud the meaning the speaker
- Simply, not paying attention. This bad habit probably says it all.
Attention is important for effective listening to occur.
Today, see if you can improve as a listener. Your life and that of
those around you will be better because of it.