Listening Leads to Understanding
Researchers at the University of Arizona have found that, on average, we speak about 16,000 words a day. And although we’re constantly barraged with new information, experts suggest that we retain a mere 25% of it. In our loud and distracting world, we are inundated with noises on a daily basis, but, there’s one clear reason to listen to those around us. “As you listen to other people,” Mayu says, “you go from seeing (and) one way of thinking to many patterns of thinking.”
It’s not just Mayu who believes that truly listening to others leads to a broadened mindset. Scholastic researchers who repeatedly extol the virtues of active listening back her theory and add that actively listening to our conversation partners leads to a deeper understanding of their situation and opinions and, consequently, improved solutions to shared problems.
Experts at University of Colorado Boulder define active listening as “… a structured form of listening and responding that focuses the attention on the speaker.” They go on to explain that a lack of this act is most detrimental during a heated conversation. “When people are engaged in a conflict, they are often busy formulating a response to what is being said,” they explain. “(And those people) focus on how they can respond to win the argument.” When the pattern changes, however, and those engaged in a conversation follow the steps of active listening, the results are noteworthy.
One study conducted at the University of Stanford Medical Center found that medical doctors can easily improve their practice by following the steps of active listening, which are: paying attention to the speaker, conveying that they are listening, providing feedback, and responding appropriately. “Without this communication skill,” researchers explain, “patients’ real concerns often go unrecognized.” With the help of these simple steps, however, doctors can improve their relationships with clients and provide deeper and more accurate diagnoses.
The data is clear across all professions. Whether you are a police officer, teacher, or even a salesperson, listening promotes understanding, a fact that Ken Garff Automotive Group figured out a long time ago. Though our slogan, “We Hear You,”is relatively new, our mission to provide personalized service to each and every customer is a quality we’ve strived for since first opening our doors in 1932.
Mayu Olson said it best when she said, “listening is vital.” That simple skill defines who we are as a company and allows us to provide unsurpassed experiences for each and every customer we talk or, more importantly, listen to.