Listening: The Second Half of Communication
Good communication is a two-way street. The most effective exchange of information happens when both a good sender and a good receiver are involved. Being a good receiver (or listener) leads to deeper understanding, shows respect, and helps ensure accurate perceptions. Besides, really listening is just plain courteous. But active listening is often more difficult for someone than being the speaker.
Why is excellent listening so difficult? The first reason is our perceptions. Generally, the person speaking believes his or her messages are more helpful, urgent, and interesting than the person listening thinks they are. A second reason is simply that effective listening is hard work, even though ...