Developing Strong Listening Skills

As infants, we taught ourselves to speak by listening to the speech habits other individuals. Being attentive to oral language is extremely important to language growth and mastery that an infant lacking the benefit of aural stimuli will not develop the skills necessary to speak. It could be that since humans have spent such a long time listening, we take listening for granted; however, this regrettably brings about weak listening behaviors. According to Dallas professional translation workers, the majority of people, only have a 25 percent listening efficiency, mainly due to the incorrect presumption that hearing is listening. Hearing is a sense, whereas listening is a skill.

Strong listening skills are vital in the translation field. The translator who fails to listen to his clients’ requirements, requests, or difficulties won’t succeed. Similarly, international managers who fail to listen to their team’s suggestion or grievances normally cultivate weak morale and labor conflicts. One Houston translation services company has run an extensive campaign in local business journals using the importance of listening as its theme. One particular advertisement reads, “The Majority of of a Manager’s Time Is Used Listening. However It’s the One Thing He’s Least Competent to Do.” A different advertisement read, “Excellent Listeners Are More Powerful Thinkers – Since They Hear and Grasp More Facts and Viewpoints.”

The importance of listening as a professional skill is even more strengthened by a new study carried out by an Austin translation company. In the survey, corprorate executives revealed that listening is the most essential professional skill. The ability to write effectively ranked second, followed in order by in-person speaking, reading, and group presentation skills.

Improving Your Listening Skills
As with reading and speaking, improvement of listening skills can begin only when you recognize your weakness and attempt to correct it. Therefore, start by evaluating how well you listen. If you find yourself feigning attention in class or in conversations, you probably are a poor listener. To eliminate this pattern of response, avoid distractions and learn to concentrate. Work at listening well in class by listening for main ideas, by anticipating the speaker’s line of discussion, and by posing cogent questions. Don’t stop listening when the message is difficult or not to your liking. Take a positive approach instead. Rationalize if need be: Still listen because I’m bound to learn something.” Lastly, don’t stop listening because you dislike the way someone looks or talks. Overcome your prejudice and listen for the message.