Within our society, we have a constant need to receive information at rapid speeds. Social media sites such as Twitter and YouTube have allowed subscribers to instantly send out messages and videos via computer and cellular phones. This constant transmission of information seems to have affected our society directly. It has been noted that if we don’t receive information quickly enough that we become withdrawn and draw our attention to something new. With that concept in mind, we can compare it to how we communicate with people. “Communication appears to be one sided due to the fact that we have been trained to multitask and communicate in various ways but studies show that we may have overlooked the act of listening” (Brenner). Listening is not the same as hearing. Most of us can hear sounds, which really involve sounds and vibrations coming into contact with our ears. Listening actually involves brain processing and subject understanding. It is my firm belief that many of us tend to hear others but rarely do we listen to what they are saying to us. Listening instead of always voicing our thoughts and opinions all the time has been proven to enhance relationships according to Gail Brenner from Yahoo News. Each one of us wants to be heard and understood in our own way, but when we constantly deliver messages to people and never receive anything back, communication is not reciprocated. According to Brenner, “listening does not only involve our ears and focused facial expressions, it also involves a response”. Practicing appropriate listening skills involves decoding messages received and supplying non verbal or verbal feedback to show that you have decoded the message delivered to you.
With all of that said, there are some signs that would be an indicator of someone lacking efficient listening skills. For example, those who constantly interject during a conversation or speak above someone else exhibit poor listening skills. There are also those who only enjoy hearing themselves speak and when someone else decides to comment, they tune out the speaker. Another example would be someone listening to a message but only receiving what they want to receive from the conversation. These are only a few of the many signs of poor listening skills but if you feel that they apply to you, you may be at risk of harming current and potential relationships in your life. There is power in the tongue as well as the ear!