Listen up, People!



According to renowned behavioral psychologist Dr. Albert Mehrabian, only 7% of your message is delivered by your words. The rest of your message, or 38% is delivered by your tone of voice and 55% is through your body language.


That’s right: If you speak to your boss, your partner, your child, or your friend for 10 minutes, it is likely that they only heard less than 1 minute of what you said if they didn’t see your face or have their full attention. And you wonder why your kid didn’t pick up their socks scattered haphazardly across the floor?


As listeners, we too can fail the test. Why? It’s possible that we are critical or passive listeners who aren’t engaged in listening intentionally to the speaker.


If you find yourself being accused of being a less than stellar listener, here are some likely culprits.

· Getting stuck inside your own head and listening to your inner dialogue.

· Daydreaming while the other person is speaking.

· Being distracted. Yes, that is a colorful bird flying by outside but don’t get distracted by the bird.

· Merely pretending to engage with the speaker.

· Interrupting the speaker to offer comments, solutions, or your own story (“I remember a time like the one you described…”).

· Rushing the speaker.

· It is possible that the speaker will say something you don’t understand. If you ignore that content, you are a passive listener.

· Not showing engagement with the speaker or respect for the speaker.

· Not making eye contact with the speaker.

· Focusing on the superficial meaning and not the underlying meaning of the words the speaker uses.

· Focusing on the minutia and missing the “big picture.” Worse yet: Asking a tsunami of questions about itty bitty, unimportant details.

· Forgetting any progress made in previous conversations.


Active Listening is the antidote for that low information retention percentage.


Listening and processing what the other person is saying is much more important. The next post will share tips for becoming an engaged active listener.


2021 Exponential Functions© 2021. Exponential Functions, LLC. All rights reserved


Julie Sies, the owner of Exponential Functions, LLC, is an ICF ACC Life Coach and an accredited Transformational Leadership Trainer and Coach. For more information, find her at www.exponentialfunctions.co

If you are looking to level up in your career, reach out to learn more about the new 6 months TL Leadership program combining best of class leadership training and 1-1 coaching. Imagine how 6 months of investing in yourself will exponentially change the trajectory of your life.

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