“Listening is often confused with hearing. While hearing is a biological process that can be scientifically explained, listening is a neurological cognitive regarding the processing of auditory stimuli received by the auditory system.”

Listening usually starts with questions, but it also includes nonverbal cues.  No matter what you do for a living, when you practice the single exceedingly important skill of listening, you will get all the information you need to be more successful —just remember not to put your foot in your mouth.

Many recent studies have shown that in this highly technical era we live in where many people communicate via text, email and social media as their primary method, people still crave honest to goodness verbal communication in person, on the phone, even on skype. Hearing the intonations of a voice helps to fully understand what is being communicated, even better is to see the person and be able to read the body language, but listening is an art form that has really gotten lost and is missed by many.

According to Wikipedia, listening can be understood on three levels: alerting, deciphering, and an understanding of how the sound is produced and how the sound affects the listener.

Alerting, the first level, does nothing to distinguish human from animal.

In a metaphorical way, deciphering, the second level, is to listening what digestion is to eating.

Understanding, the third level of listening, means knowing how what one says will affect another.

To listen intently is to give a gift…..listening allows the other person to vent, to release, and then to relax and absorb reactions, input and advice, it shows respect and human interest.

I frequently find that just by listening to the needs and concerns of clients I am immediately helping them to feel better on many different levels.

Give listening a try and enjoy the mutual benefits with those you are communicating with!