The Importance of Efficient Listening Skills
Communication is a two-way street which consists of speaking AND listening. People mostly emphasize on the first part and completely ignore the latter, which is equally important in effective communication, if not more.
A study conducted at Write State University in Ohio surveyed 8,000 participants and found that in average, the participants listened with a meager 25% efficiency. Thankfully, there are ways in which people can improve their listening skills to become more effective listeners.
Listening skills are very important in our daily lives. Most relationships fall apart because partners feel unheard or misunderstood. People often listen simply to respond, not to actually understand what is being said. Improving one’s listening skills can help forge a cohesive relationship between partners and family members, which can lead to a more satisfying quality of life.
In order to develop effective listening skills it is important to define what effective listening is in the first place. Effective listening refers to the idea that the listener is an active participant who is attempting to understand and provide accurate feedback towards any information being provided by the speaker.
Needless to say, effective listening can only take place if listening is taking place, which can become hampered due to hearing loss. People with hearing loss have difficulty in recognizing speech and thus have a hard time understanding and responding appropriately during conversations. This hampered listening due to hearing loss can severely hamper effective listening skills.
Hearing loss can adversely impact interpersonal relationships and can lead to unnecessary misunderstandings and feelings of frustration and isolation between couples and families. Over time, people with hearing loss become socially withdrawn and avoid family gatherings to avoid embarrassment of being unable to hear. This social avoidance can lead to depression or anxiety.
Luckily, hearing loss can easily be rectified through a simple hearing test that can assess the level of hearing damage, coupled with obtaining hearing aids to amplify sound signals and restore hearing.
Good listeners possess certain qualities that help them connect with people. Professor Paul Sacco from the University of Maryland School of Social Work revealed that effective listeners are open-minded, alert, empathetic, and responsive towards any communication they receive.
Listening skills can be developed over time so that partners no longer lose the “spark” that keeps the love alive in their relationships. Talk to your partner for at least ten minutes daily, while spending another five minutes simply listening to what your partner has to say. Seek timely treatment for hearing loss so that you can enjoy meaningful relationships through effective listening for all your days to come.