The more we don’t listen; the more we don’t hear, and the more frantically we long for it.
If I could change one thing in the world it would be for all of us to become better listeners, even 25% better would radically change ourselves, our relationships and our world at large. The research is clear and its results profound.
We need to be heard, yet most of us are terrible listeners and we actually think we’re not that bad because, even if we’ve learned some skills, we don’t commit to using them.
A study of 8,000+ people employed in businesses, universities hospitals, military, and government agencies found that virtually all respondents believed that they communicate as effectively as or even more effectively than their co-workers.
Research, on the other hand, shows that the average person only listens with about 25% efficiency.
In a 10-minute conversation with a spouse, child, boss, colleague or friend most people only listen to about 2 ½ minutes of what they hear.
Brown University neuroscientist, Seth Horowitz wrote an article which shines a light on the differences between listening and hearing. And, he says it all comes down to attention.
Hearing happens all of the time when we take in sound around us, listening happens when we really intend to understand another person.
Despite what it said, a person isn’t actually listening to you if they’re:
- planning what to say next
- thinking about what to have for dinner
- feeling rushed to get on to something else
- checking their mobile
- sending that one last final text
- distracted by their own bad day
- judging you
- trying to phrase advice or recommendations for you
- attempting to impress you with their wit, charm, intelligence, etc …
As much as we need food and water, we need people to listen to us.
Someone to hold space for us and pay attention to not only the words we say but, more importantly, our feelings underneath the words.
I see you… I hear you… are two of the three most powerful sentences in the world. Now if only we could demonstrate them through our bodies and being, our world would be a very different place. Because when we change from the inside out, we change everything around us. Let me show you how to listen to your own life.