Do you sometimes think about a task you need to get done …or ….that meeting you have to attend….or …what you will cook for dinner in the evening…..or that important family matter, (and the list goes on), while someone is talking to you?
Do you concentrate on what someone is saying to you the whole conversation time?
Effective listening and communication are sometimes challenging. This is true because most people are more focused on what they have to say than on what they are hearing. There is a lack of interest in what the other person has to say.
In some instances, people think that what they say is more helpful or more important than what they are receiving or hearing.
Other times, the listener starts to think of other things and the mind wanders off, especially if the speaker has a lot to say.
Effective listening skills take extra effort on the part of the listener to concentrate on what the speaker is saying.
In Mediation, the Mediator has to be a good listener for a successful Mediation to take place . Parties to the Mediation also have to make conscious effort to listen to one another.
Likewise, in general, to have a fruitful communication or dialogue, the speaker must communicate well and the listener must make an effort to focus on and understand what the speaker is saying.
One of the many techniques that can be used to improve listening and communication skills is concentrating on what the speaker is saying. Making a conscious effort to focus on and appreciate what is being said. The speaker in return will appreciate this effort and communicate freely.
Research suggests that people are very capable of listening and processing words at the rate of 600 – 1000 words per minute.
Nevertheless, it is important to actively concentrate on what others are saying while in a dialogue so that effective communication can take place.