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April 11, 2013

Listening is an active mental activity of receiving,constructing meaning and responding to spoken verbal messages.It is a deliberate process through which we seek to understand and retain aural stimuli for future use and also understand  peoples’s  feelings through mutually understood codes.Listening is therefore an indispensable communication tool because if we do not listen we will not understand people and we cannot communicate
Following the above explanations,it is heartbreaking that most people do not pay attention to this important communication skill(Listening) .Statistics shows that the average time spent on listening is 53percent while that spent on speaking ,writing and reading together is 47percent.Ironically,all the training programs are usually focused on the later(speaking,writing and reading) and almost little time is spent on the former(listening) though it is critical and occupies major importance in communication.
According to John Marshall,’Listening well is as powerful a means of communication as to talk well’ .people often focus on their speaking abilities believing that good speaking equals good communication.But the the ability to listen is equally important.Good listeners are often some of the best speakers because they have taken time to listen and find  out what people are truly interested in.Listening is a survival tool as it helps us to stay out of trouble anywhere we find ourselves.It creates understanding and problem solving,It helps to gather information,It adds to knowledge,It is important for our interpersonal relationships,It establishes bond of trust and respect,It helps our professional lives.The importance of listening cannot be overemphasized.
In order to communicate effectively,we must be able to hear what the other person is saying.Not just hearing because the acoustics is good or the person is speaking loud.We have to employ the tool FOCUS which helps us listen effectively.There is a popular saying that,’A wise man listening to a fool will learn more than a fool listening to a wise man’. We must create interest in paying attention to our listening abilities and work on those barriers that stop us from listening effectively and overcome them….


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