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Updated 07/22/2017

   We were "so cool" playing like we were
   listening to each other yet.
   Today, listening is not important but
   critical. Being "just good", whether it is
family or neighbors will suffice but
   not for the professional world.  Strong
   listening and speaking skills are core
   personal skills to be successful.

   Let's read about listening! 

    Time Spent Communicating A 'pie in pie' chart to show the significance of listening. skillsyouneed.com (c)2012

     6 Ways To Become A Better Listener  |  FastCompany.com, Stephanie Vozza                                       03/17/2017
     Humans have an average eight-second attention span. You’re going to need to do better
     if you want to get things done.
Ever zone out while someone is talking? Of course. We all
     do. The average human has an eight-second attention span. With electronic distractions
     competing for your time and an abundance of responsibilities at work, it makes listening
     attentively to someone else speak pretty difficult.

     Active listening is a skill that can be acquired and developed with practice. However,
     active listening can be difficult to master and will, therefore, take time and patience to
'Active listening' means, as its name suggests, actively listening. That is fully
     concentrating on what is being said rather than just passively ‘hearing’ the message
     of the speaker.

     In communication, clarification involves offering back to the speaker the essential
     meaning, as understood by the listener, of what they have just said. Thereby checking
     that the listener's understanding is correct and resolving any areas of confusion or
     Clarification is important in many situations, especially when what is being communicated
     is difficult in some way. Communication can be 'difficult' for many reasons, perhaps
     sensitive emotions are being discussed - or you are listening to some complex
     information or following instructions.

     Being able to communicate effectively is the most important of all life skills.
     Communication is simply the act of transferring information from one place to another.
     It may be 
vocally (using voice), written (using printed or digital media such as books,
     magazines, websites or emails), visually (using logos, maps, charts or graphs) or
     non-verbally (using body language, gestures and the tone and pitch of voice).

     Conversations are supposed to be fun. They involve personal interactions between
     two or more people about something of interest. But many people worry about having
     conversations. They are concerned that they won’t be able to keep the conversation
     going, or about what they will say.

     Your voice can reveal as much about your personal history as your appearance.
     The sound of a voice and the content of speech can provide clues to an individual's
     emotional state and a dialect can indicate their geographic roots. 
     The voice is unique to the person to whom it belongs.
     For instance, if self-esteem is low, it may be reflected by hesitancy in the voice, a shy
     person may have a quiet voice, but someone who is confident in themselves will be
     more likely to have command of their voice and clarity of speech.
     This page can help you understand and utilize the full potential of your voice.

     However many presentations you have given as part of your job, nothing quite
     prepares you for the moment when you are required to make a speech. This might
     happen if your friend has asked you to be his best man, or you are getting married,
     or your son or daughter is getting married.
     You may have been asked to give an after-dinner speech at a formal function or, less
     happily, to give the eulogy at a funeral. You may also have to give speeches if you are
     taking up politics.

     Gathering information is a basic human activity – we use information to learn, to help
     us solve problems, to aid our decision-making processes and to understand each other
     more clearly.
     Questioning is the key to gaining more information and without it interpersonal
     communications can fail.  Questioning is fundamental to successful communication - we
     all ask and are asked questions when engaged in conversation. 

Read more at: https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/questioning.html

     Although there are numerous reasons for asking questions the information we receive
     back (the answer) will depend very much on the type of question we ask.
     Questions, in their simplest form, can either be open or closed - this page covers both
     types but also details many other question types and when it may be appropriate to use
     them, in order to improve understanding.

Read more at: https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/question-types.html

     However good you think your listening skills are, the only person who can tell you if
     you have understood correctly or not is the speaker.  Therefore, as an extension of
     good listening skills, you need to develop the ability to reflect words and feelings and
     to clarify that you have understood them correctly. 
It is often important that you and the speaker agree that what you understand is a true
     representation of what was meant to be said.

Read more at: https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/reflecting.html