Listening to Clients, Colleagues and the Holy SpiritJul 7th, 2009 | By Kimberly Dinsdale | Category: Coaching Women
Three coaches are walking down the street. The first one says, “Windy, isn’t it?” The second one says, “No, it’s Thursday!” The third coach one says, “So am I. Let’s go to Starbucks.”
Think of the best listener you know – someone you can talk to and who truly understands you. What makes them a good listener? What do they do that lets you know they are listening to you?
Consider the following definition for listening: understanding another person and doing so for his or her sake. Accepting what is being said, without judgment.
- We listen at 125-250 wpm, think at 1000-3000 wpm
- 75% of the time we are distracted, preoccupied or forgetful
- 20% of the time, we remember what we hear
- More than 35% of businesses think listening is a top skill for success
- Less than 2% of people have had formal education with listening
Hearing vs. Listening
Do you think there is a difference between hearing and listening? Hearing is simply the act of perceiving sound by the ear. If you are not hearing-impaired, hearing simply happens. Listening, however, is something you consciously choose to do. Listening requires concentration so that your brain processes meaning from words and sentences. Listening leads to learning.
Anyone who answers without listening is foolish and confused. Proverbs 18:13, New Century Version
Most people tend to be “hard of listening” rather than “hard of hearing.”
How is hearing different from listening? Hearing is gaining information for oneself, while listening is caring for and being empathetic toward others. Listening is about what is going on inside the other person. Hearing is about what is going on inside of me.
Most of us have been gifted with the ability to hear. When we move from hearing and refine it into the art of listening, we become effective coaches
Wise men and women are always learning, always listening for fresh insights. Proverbs 18:15, The Message
Next post we’ll look at three ways of listening. Until then, enjoy the results you create by refining the art of listening.