Although we spend 80% of our day communicating, 50% of that time is spent listening, while retaining only 25% of what we hear!
Communicating effectively is not always easy, but it helps us avoid conflicts, reduce errors, promote a positive environment, and eliminate misunderstandings with others. Poor communications can be a safety hazard since the message may not be clear or understood. As professionals, we all have an obligation to protect others. If there is a hazard or if someone is at risk – SAY SOMETHING!
Communicating and Listening
Communicating what we want to say is more than just words that are coming out of our mouth. The rest of the message is expressed through our tone of voice, body language, facial expressions, and how we engage the listener; are you making eye contact, are you giving your full attention?
To be a good communicator:
- Maintain a positive attitude
- Know what you want to say
- Stick to the point
- Have the right body language
Just hearing the message is why we only retain 25% of what we hear. We can improve our listening skills by being active listeners. Active listening is not just hearing what is being said, but understanding the whole message.
To be an active listener:
- Pay attention. Do not interrupt!
- Show that you are listening.
- Provide feedback.
- Defer judgment.
- Respond appropriately.
For more information on active listening, visit: www.mindtools.com/CommSkll/ActiveListening.htm