I recently spoke to a large group of sales people and here’s how I started off my speech:
“SHUT UP! SHUT UP!” I shouted, as loud as I could.
The room went silent. After a pause I said, “Your boss asked me to talk to all of you and teach you the most important thing I know about sales…and I just did. Shut up and listen.”
Some good tips on the importance of listening:
- If you’re talking, you’re not listening.
- SHUT UP AND LISTEN 90% of the time and only talk 10%.
- We forget 50% of what we hear just four hours after hearing it.
- God gave us two ears and one mouth. Listen twice as much as you talk.
- Ears are made for listening. Its one thing to hear but another to really listen and not think about what you’re going to say while other person is talking!
On a recent TED Talk, Julian Treasure was talking about having "sound" health and he brought up a huge issue in America today with younger kids:
"I see many young people with headphones all the time- at work, on train, working out and this is a real problem.”
“The first really big health issue is a word that Murray Schafer coined: "schizophonia." It's a dislocation between what you see and what you hear. So, we're inviting into our lives the voices of people who are not present with us. I think there's something deeply unhealthy about living all the time in schizophonia.”
He goes on to talk about another issue that headphones create: deafness. 16% of American teenagers- roughly one in six- have a noise-induced hearing. One study even showed that 61% of college freshman had damaged hearing as a result of headphone abuse.
So, two things: understand the importance of listening and not just hearing and also keep in mind that in order to listen you have to maintain “sound” health.
How are your listening skills? Ask your friends, your co-workers, your husband and/or your wife. They’ll tell you.