Listening is purposeful and requires motivation and effort. In the best cases, listening is active and concentrated, as an effort to understand information and meaning being shared.
However, according to Harvard Business Review, “Two months after listening to a talk, the average listener will remember only about 25% of what was said. In fact, after we have barely learned something, we tend to forget from one-half to one-third of it within eight hours.”
To retain what’s heard, a commitment to active listening is needed. In order to be attentive, you must:
- Maintain eye contact with the speaker
- Direct yourself toward the speaker
- Pay attention to what’s being said
- Respond and provide feedback
I find that the proper use of active listening can result in getting people to open up, avoiding misunderstandings and building trust.