Career Headlines will continue to focus on communication for the next several weeks, as this work readiness skill stands out as one of the most essential for success. Even though listening is so important to good interpersonal relations, research shows that we listen only 25 percent of the time.
Sometimes a message gets confused, and the listener doesn't interpret it in the way the speaker meant it. Age, gender, education, economic status, family background, amount of technology knowledge, life experiences, and many other things play a role in how well listeners interpret what the speaker says.
Complicating the ability to listen is the mismatch between speaking speed and thinking speed. We process information at more than 400 words a minute, but the average speaker talks at only 125-150 words a minute. While waiting for the speaker to move on, the brain shuffles through other thoughts and loses some of the speaker's words and meanings.
You can become an excellent listener if you use these five tested methods for listening: