The Value of Effective Listening

The vast majority of what we learn comes through listening (not talking or reading). So if you are want to be the "smartest person" in the room, you better know how to listen!

Regardless of your chosen vocation, the ability to effectively listen will be critical to advancing your career.

Depending on which academic study you believe somewhere between 55% and and 93% of communication is non-verbal or implied in tone and demeanor. This means even if you hear what your boss, co-worker or customer is “saying”, you may not understand what the truly mean if you are an ineffective listener.

Types of listening

Different situations require different types of listening. For example, if you are receiving detailed instructions on a specific task from your direct supervisor or trainer, you will likely be taking notes and asking for clarification as needed. Other times you may be in a large group setting where the speaker is trying to convey “the big picture” or central theme of a subject. In those settings copious note taking may actually be distracting.

Understand your listening role

As a listener you will assume different roles at different times, even when you are speaking to the same person. Make sure you know what the purpose of the conversation and what the person you are speaking with needs from you in response to the conversation.

Related articles from around the web:

Why Good Listening Is a Critical Skill for Founders and Entrepreneurs 

6 Ways Effective Listening Can Make You A Better Leader

The Business Case for Better Listening

Professional resources: 

National Association of State Boards of Accountancy