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10 Ways to Improve Your Listening Skills

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10 Ways to Improve Your Listening Skills

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”—Leo Buscaglia

Every time I give an assignment to my college students, I ask if they have questions. At first, everyone is hesitant, but in a moment or two, the questions begin. And that’s fine. What I find somewhat disconcerting, though, is that most of the questions reveal that the students haven’t really listened to my explanation, even though they appeared to have been attentive.

I realize many of us need to hear something more than once to understand and process it, and I’m not faulting my students for that. What bothers me is that in school and elsewhere, I’ve noticed most people don’t make much of an attempt to listen to others. In fact, I believe we are in the midst of a non-listening epidemic that is affecting the quality of our relationships, costing businesses thousands of dollars every year, and producing mediocre learning in our schools.

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