Monthly Archives: November 2011

Listening is 90% of Communication. Why?

Listening is 90% of Communication. Why?

What is said here about a parent listening to a child
applies equally to an adult listening to another adult.

To me the evidence is overwhelming. The importance of listening far outweighs the importance of speaking in creating and maintaining good communication. I go so far as to say that it counts for 90% of the communication process–and particularly of good communication. This is especially true of parents listening to children.

The Value, Power, and Results of Listening

Here’s a simplistic way to look at this. We have two ears, two eyes, and one mouth. Four out of five of those organs are for taking information in, and only one is for speaking it out. That’s 80% right there! Beyond that, though, listening has such incredible value and power in any  relationship, and it is difficult to do well, that it counts for a full 90% of what constitutes good communication. Consider the following.

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Listening Skill #1: Acknowledging

Listening Skill #1: Acknowledging

“You can attract more flies with a spoonful of honey than a barrel of vinegar.” Anonymous

This old saying illustrates a profound truth: a little kindness goes a long way. Kindness is a lot more effective than bitterness. This idea applies to many aspects of life, but to none more so than relationships.

There is no better way to build or strengthen a relationship than by listening to another person, including a child. When anyone speaks, it is for the purpose of being heard, or listened to, including a child. Acknowledging is the first and simplest way of conveying to another person, including a child, that you are in fact listening. And conveying that simple fact is, by itself, strong encouragement for the child to keep talking. And this is what you want, if you accept the idea that listening is 90% of communication–or at least that listening is critically important to effective communication.

What Does “Acknowledging” Mean?

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