Everyone in the organization, from the top to the bottom, should strive to communicate more effectively. According to research, we spend 7 out of every 10 minutes that we are awake communicating, and that communication time is devoted 9 percent to writing, 16 percent to reading, 30 percent to speaking, and 45 percent to listening. Are you a good listener? When report cards are given out for how well we listen, however, very few of us would receive passing grades. Barriers to listening include assuming a subject is uninteresting and tuning out, focusing on how something is said rather than on what is being said, reacting too quickly before the message is completed, picking up on emotional words and not hearing the rest of the message, listening only for facts rather than trying to absorb ideas, allowing yourself to be distracted, and avoiding listening to subjects that you don’t understand. Everyone must learn to overcome these barriers.
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