Listening Skills Assessment
Because most of us are born with the ability to listen and communicate we often assume that we also have the skill to do this well. The truth is that few of us are great listeners innately – we have to learn to develop strong listening skills through training, education and feedback.
Research suggests that about 70-80% of effective communication comes from the listening component. That means that when we are talking we cannot be sure that the other person is really hearing us correctly. This is because many people do not consistently pay attention to speakers to understand them accurately. As listeners, we jump to conclusions, tune people out, get distracted, and listen to only part of a message, and WE DO THIS ALL THE TIME. All of us can improve our listening skills to become better communicators and build better relationships with others while we are doing it.
Although most of us think that we can all listen quite efficiently on a technical or functional level, a relatively small number of people can actually listen with true understanding and empathy. The “Listening Effectiveness assessment” (see link below) provides a highly structured process through which to assess an individual’s current capacity to listen attentively. The subject is therefore broken down into seven sub-categories:
- Creating a Conducive Climate
- Showing Positive Interest
- Reading the Speaker
- Paying Attention and Concentrating
- Understanding and Reflecting The Message
This online and paper-based listening skills assessment gives individuals the opportunity to not only carry out a self-assessment (which provides scores and interpretive information in all seven of the above categories) but also allows participants to undertake the listening assessment as 180-degree feedback (including his or her boss) and even 360-degree feedback (adding in up to ten colleagues as well). Individuals end up with a personalized report of results which also then shows where efforts to improve or make small adjustments in approach may be focused in the future. The $20 spent on this assessment is therefore well-worth the investment.