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by Andrew E. Schwartz
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We spend 45 percent of our communication time listening, yet few of us think of listening as an active process. Listening is an active and complex process that relies on more than our inherent tendencies. Strong character development, self-awareness, and participation in the organization's goals lead to better understanding of information. Proper listening will result in more accurate communication and more successful personal and professional relationships.
To improve the overall success of your organization, start with perfecting employee communication. Listening is a major and often ignored part of the communication process. Focus on evaluating that aspect first and then move into other areas, such as verbal communication and product knowledge.
Organizations spend enormous amounts of time and money trying to improve employees' communication skills. Unfortunately, verbal communication gets the fanfare while listening skills go virtually unnoticed. The importance of good verbal communication falls onto deaf ears since many of us are well-skilled in the art of fake listening.
In our formative years, most of us developed the art of fake listening. We learned to appear engrossed in the classroom and at home, when in reality we were daydreaming about other more interesting things. We got away with being average students. But, in business, being average is not good enough. If we want to excel, get promoted, or earn a higher salary, we have to improve on this particular problem area. Since poor listening skills could be the silent partner that stops us from clinching important assignments or a reasonable pay increase, we must break our adolescent habit of not listening and learn how.
Andrew E. Schwartz, CEO, A.E. Schwartz & Associates of Boston, MA a comprehensive management training and professional development organization offering over 40 skills specific programs and practical solutions to today's business challenges.
Copyright, AE Schwartz & Associates. All rights reserved.
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