Cartoon-listening-skillsI just discovered that there is an International Listening Association. Who knew? They are a professional organization whose members are dedicated to learning more about the impact listening has on all human activity.

“One advantage of talking to yourself is that you know at least somebody’s listening”. — Franklin P. Jones

While at first I laughed when I heard of their existence, the more I think about it, the more I can see what they might have to offer.

Having had employees in the past who didn’t do what I really wanted done, I wonder if their problem was that they were bad listeners. While the responsibility for communication is in the hands of the sender, if you don’t have an active listener on the other end, you might as well be barking in the wind.

But how do you know whether you’re not explaining something properly, someone is just ignoring you or whether they might really have a problem listening?

And if listening is a skill that can be learned, how do you teach people to be better at it?