Effective listening is focus of Toastmasters

Did you know that the 500 commonly used words in English have 14,070 dictionary meanings? That’s an average of more than 28 meanings per word! The word “set” for example has 194 meanings. Yes! You read that right.

Secondly, have you ever found yourself in a heated discussion about work, a relationship or even politics when you tuned out and wouldn’t listen to anything your friend was saying because you were formalizing your rebuttal? I’m guilty of that and the honest ones will say — amen!

This is a challenge we need to overcome so that we never hear the question, “what did I just say?” The good news is that Concord Spellbinders Toastmasters Club is hosting a workshop: “How to Listen Effectively.” This workshop is designed to help participants develop their listening skills. It’s a free and interactive seminar open to the public and will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 24 at SUNY Fredonia. Listening is much more active than most people think. The participants will:

1) Develop skills in active listening

2) Learn how to avoid distractions

3) Practice listening to understand

4) See the benefits of Toastmasters

Listening is a learned skill. In every communication there’s a receiver and a sender; the problem is too many people are sending and too few are receiving. Here’s another fact to think about. Hearing is not the same as listening. Hearing is to listening what seeing is to reading. Hearing is merely one step in the process of listening. Listening involves receiving, organizing, interpreting, and responding to information that is heard. The goal is to help you become a better listener. There are nine techniques designed to help you achieve that goal if you make an effort to turn them into listening habits. They do work. They have worked for others and will work for you. So what are these nine techniques? Well you have to come and find out!

Remember, words don’t contain the meaning – people supply the meanings based on past experience, knowledge, and word usage. Imagine how productive we can be if we as leaders will learn to listen effectively. Less time will be spent on damage control and clearing up misunderstandings, and trust and confidence among colleagues will be enhanced.

Epictetus said, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” This saying is cliche nowadays but heeding its lesson would be very instructive. Your skill as an effective listener will not only make you a better speaker and increase your understanding, it will play a major role in helping you succeed in whatever you do.

If you would like to join us, RSVP by sending us an email at leokays@outlook.com.

Location: Fenton Hall, SUNY Fredonia, 280 Central Avenue, (Room 105). Fredonia.