We retain just 25% of what we hear, says sound expert Julian Treasure. That was in 2011.
Recent statistics reveal that the average human attention is 8.25 seconds. A little less than that of a goldfish (9 seconds). At this rate our listening is poor. Unfortunately, it is getting worse.
The situation spans across all age groups and genders, according to IFL Science (quoting a study by Microsoft Corporation).
Poor attention = poor retention = poor listening.
How much of your attention do I have with this post? How much of what you are reading will be retained? I wonder.
You can read about why we are losing our listening in an earlier post I wrote.
In this post I only highlight scenarios that indicate we are not listening well. Some of them may not be new information to you, but like Steve Covey said, common knowledge is not common practice.
Your are not listening well when you/ your:
- Interrupt another to make your point.
- Silence is not to listen to another but to prepare your response.
- Cannot do without fiddling with your phone in a meeting, church service or while having a conversation with your spouse/ child/ friend.
- When you use your earpiece, read a book or engage in anything that excludes others, while you are in their company.
- Drive, while using your earpiece, or with music so loud you can barely hear anything outside your car.
- Interest in things is only in relation to yourself.
- Prefer virtual interaction to physical interaction. Or when you have more friends on social media that you do physically. (I believe the former should complement the latter)
- Know nothing about your immediate neighbor/ employee or employer.. Or worse still, you do not know your neighbor.
- Know nothing about your child(ren)’s friend(s). Not even the name(s).
- Have to be reminded by your spouse/ child/ friends about things that are important to them.
- Interaction with colleagues does not go beyond the usual pleasantries and office chatter.
- Write people off without getting to know them first. (notwithstanding first impressions which tend to last longer).
- Are unable to enjoy or appreciate solitude.
- When you prefer to be a lone ranger most of the time. (This is not a contradiction of ’13’ above).
- Spend considerable time talking to God (making requests most of the time) and little or no time meditating to hear from Him.
“Every human being needs to listen consciously to live fully.”
– Julian Treasure
Be wise. Always make an effort to understand. Pay attention. Always choose to listen.
Congratulations! You made it to the end of the post. Thank you.
This list is not exhaustive. What will you add?