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Chapter 19. How Well do You Listen? > Personal Listening Inventory

Personal Listening Inventory

1: On average, what percentage of each business day do you spend listening? ___________________________________
2: On a scale of 1–10 (with 10 being the highest), how would you rate yourself as a listener?_____________________________
3: On a scale of 1–10, how committed are you to improving your listening?
4: On a scale of 1–10, how would you rate the best listener you know?
5: On a scale of 1–10, how would you rate the worst listener you know?
6: On a scale of 1–10, how would the following people (where appropriate) rate you as a listener?

Manager __

Subordinate __

Close colleague __

Spouse/Lover __

Child(ren) __

Best friend __

Personal Listening Inventory: Author’s Interpretation

The following interpretation of the Personal Listening Inventory you took on page 57 will help you compare your results with those of others.

  1. According to experts, we spend approximately 80% of each business day communicating. Of that time, 45% is spent listening, 30% speaking, 16% reading, and 9% writing. A manager may spend up to 60% of each business day listening.

  2. Most people listen at about 50% efficiency. In other words, if tested immediately on what they just heard, they would accurately remember 50%. However, the efficiency rate drops quickly, and most people average a 25% efficiency rate overall.

  3. We need to commit to becoming better listeners, because listening is hard work. It requires attention, patience, persistence, and a plan for improvement. Casual involvement and genuine commitment are not the same thing. Suppose you had ham and eggs for breakfast. The chicken was involved in the meal, but the pig was committed. What is your commitment to your listening improvement?

  4. Best listeners are usually rated as 8, 9, or 10. This is higher than most individuals rate themselves. The best listeners are often mentors, role models, or professional counselors.

  5. Worst listeners are usually rated as 0–4. This score is much lower than most people rate themselves. “Worst listeners” are often related to us, probably because we save our worst behaviors for the people closest to us.

  6. It is not unusual to discover that our best friends rate us highest, and our family lowest. Subordinates and colleagues rank us about the same as we rank ourselves. Bosses usually rank us higher than we rank ourselves because we listen better to them than to others. In other words, we are more attentive when there is a direct payoff—or penalty.



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