Is there a difference between hearing and listening?
Research has proven that the average person hears between 20,000 and 30,000 words a day.
But how much of these words we truly understand? There is an important difference between hearing and listening. We should not assume that if someone hears us that automatically understands what we are saying.
Comprehending information and focusing on fully understanding the message before responding to it is a skill called active listening.
Definition of Active Listening:
According to businessdictionary.com, active listening is the act of mindfully hearing and attempting to comprehend the meaning of words spoken by another in a conversation or speech. Activity listening is an important business communication skill, and it can involve making sounds that indicate attentiveness, as well as the listener giving feedback in the form of a paraphrased rendition of what has been said by the other party for their confirmation.
The benefits of Active Listening:
- Gain more in-depth information - You will get the opportunity to gain more information as a listener as active listening motivates the speaker to elaborate about more things in greater depth.
- People feel “heard” – As a listener when you focus on fully understanding the message of the speaker it will positively influence your relationship, speakers will enjoy talking to you more and it can build a trusting and ‘open’ environment.
- Conflict resolution – Active listening can help solve misunderstandings and prevent disputes.
- Better outcomes – Clear communication with others is important to understand and respond in the best way. In the world of business, active listening can help you achieve excellent outcomes as well as avoid frustration.
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