EVERY GOOD CONVERSATION STARTS WITH GOOD LISTENING
How often do you find yourself asking the question “who can I talk to that would really listen to me?” It might well be a very short list. Listening is more than just hearing it is actually understanding what someone is really saying and appearing to have the time to do so.
Below are some listening statistics:
- Most of us are distracted, preoccupied or forgetful about 75% of the time we should be listening.
- Immediately after we listen to someone we only recall about 50% of what they said.
- Long-term we only remember 20% of what we hear.
- We listen at 125-250 words per minute but think at 1000-3000 words per minute.
The International Listening Association www.listen.org
Active listening is looking at the person, smiling, asking questions, not changing the subject, not interrupting, showing empathy and responding.
For those who suffer with mental illness someone who will listen as outlined above can be invaluable. That feeling of being able to talk to someone and not be judged or wonder whether you are boring them. Listening gives people a sense of belonging rather than one of isolation.
I used to say to my daughter “I am listening” and her reply was “you are listening but your are not hearing” and thereby lies the difference – and so I rest my case!.