Research shows that we filter out or change the intended message of what we hear in 70% of our communication. That's a lot of the time! If we filter out or change it that often it is REALLY important that we learn how to send and receive messages to make sure we are being heard and are hearing others!
The reason we filter out or change the meaning so often is that we just don't get it - no matter how much someone else might want us to!
It's very difficult to really hear if we are not using a listening approach that is appropriate for the environment and message being communicated. We are not all the same and we don't all listen in the same manner. There are different styles and approaches to listening and while we can use a variety of styles, we tend to each use some more than others. You can adapt your current listening approach to the needs of almost any situation with appropriate insight and motivation.
There are a lot of reasons we may tune out or not hear all of a conversation, such as:
- The purpose of the conversation is different from your purpose. For example, your co-worker may want to share with you all the infinite details and facts about something and you really aren't interested in all the details.
- Understimulation - This would be when you find something very boring and tend to tune out and daydream.
- Overstimulation - When there is too much noise or distrations - just too much going on to pay attention.
- Pace and Delivery - This is when the other person talks way to fast or way too slow, and you just tune out.
- Give your full attention to the speaker
- Ask questions for clarity
- Summarize and paraphrase
- Tune into words, feelings and body language
Download a copy of our whitepaper "A Guide to Interpersonal Communication Skills at Work". We are not all the same, we don't all approach things the same way. When you learn about how to communicate better with the different behavioral styles, the end result is you can better lead people and have stronger relationships with others.