1493. Receptive Communication – The Art of Listening


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G W Balthrop: 1493. Receptive Communication - The Art of Listening. In: 41st Annual Conference, San Jose, California, May 17-19, pp. 10, Society of Allied Weight Engineers, Inc., San Jose, California, 1982.



Throughout history, listening has often been the sole medium of learning (Figure 1). By contrast, reading has served as a primary tool of learning only for several centuries, but it is safe to say that even during this period more has been learned through oral than visual communication.
The written word is slow compared with the spoken word, a factor that makes listening more and more important in this age of speed. When matters must be settled in a hurry in today's business, the slow procedures of paperwork are often dropped. Even in the normal course of business, we find that most workers receive some 40% of their salaries for listening.
Compared with the written word, the spoken word has greater persuasive power because, among other reasons, listeners are more vulnerable than readers. The eye has been the favored child in education while the ear has een left to shift for itself-and the neglected ear functions poorly in a world where it is forced to work overtime. Research shows that on the average we listen at approximately a 25 % level of efficiency.
Listening is a skill. It can be improved through training and practice, just as can reading, writing, and speaking. This paper proposes to make one aware of the importance of 1istening.and to offer some guidelines for increasing one's skill in the art of listening.


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