According to the International Listening Association, [http://www.listen.org/Templates/home.htm], March is National Listening Month This organization is “…the professional organization whose members are dedicated to learning more about the impact that listening has on all human activity.”
Does listening truly have an impact on the communicator and the listener?
How often do you really listen? Listen as in tuning out all distractions? How often do you turn away from the phone and leave your desk [so you don't hear the "You've Got Mail" indicator], clear your mind and focus fully, 100%, on your listener?
Did you realize that being fully “in the moment” with your listener, although it may take a bit more time on the front end, will save you time and possibly money in the long run? You can also gain loyalty from your staff and family, and a reputation of honesty and fairness from all that know you.
It’s more than simply active listening, it’s being aware of all your communications and their communications. Aahh … fodder for another posting. Until then, I challenge you to, the next time someone wants to talk to you, to put down the laptop, pause or mute the television, move to another area of your office, look the person in the eye [or at their face to avoid staring and making them feel uncomfortable] and give them your undivided attention. Let me know your interesting results!
Remember: It isn’t what they said, it’s what you think you heard.