The listening test will help you see just how good a listener you are. As a matter of fact, I bet you will fail the first few times.
You do not need to listen to what the first part of this article is saying. You can skip down to the test. But if you do, you may regret it as it sets the relationship of the test with communication. Although written for public speakers, it applies to everyone who has an ear to listen and a need to communicate.
Communication is defined by The American Heritage Dictionary as the conveying or sharing of ideas and feelings that accomplish an aim or purpose. That last part, accomplishing an aim or purpose means that not only does communication involve speaking, it also involves listening.
As a public speaker, listening is a vital art to master. To be a great speaker, you need to be a great listener. For your message to reach the ears of those you speak to, you need to know what they want to hear. Everyone has a job to be done. You can only learn about their personal job to be done is by listening to what your audience is saying prior to preparing your speech.
What is Involved in Effective Listening?
Listening is defined as applying oneself to hearing something. In verbal communication it is to hear while giving attention to what is being said. It is an ability that can be cultivated and practiced into a skill. From this standpoint it can be viewed as an art.
As a public speaker, it is an art that requires a conscious choice to master. As a married person, it is a necessity.
The Listening Test
This will help you master your listening efficiency.
Now the test.
For one whole day, the entire time you are awake, devote yourself to not making any comment, giving an opinion, not even validating anything said by anyone else.
Not even a yes. This might require some artful and creative thinking. You might respond to someone calling out to you with something like...did you call? If someone needs an affirmation, the challenge is giving it while delivering a legitimate question rather than something nonsensical.
All that is required to pass the test is to listen. If needs be, you can ask more questions to further your ability to listen. Offer no comment, suggestions, or affirmations.
Do this for an entire day.
(I have yet to accomplish it).
Most people who have tried it have found it too difficult to do.
This will help you to learn how to listen, really listen to what others are saying.
More important than passing the test is the value of what you will learn. You will start to see how often you speak. You will start to find something wonderful as well. You will become very much liked by those around you.
Why, because people appreciate someone who is a good listener.
More On the Art of Listening and how to develop the skill. Since we are not hard wired nor trained to listen, here you will find some additional help.