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The Other Half of Communication is Listening

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What comes to mind when you think of communication skills. Things like public speaking, clarity and tone of voice, and the ability to organize your thoughts into a logical manner are probably typical. If you are thinking about oral communication, then this would include the pacing of your speech along with the tone of your voice. If you are thinking about written communication, then this would include word usage, sentence length and formatting. But this is only half of communication. According to motivator Scott H Young, the other half of communication is in listening. In order to speak, you need listeners. In order to write you need readers. In order to create art you need a catered event for people to stand back and go.

Listening is the other half of communication, but it is so often neglected. Most of us want to become better speakers or writers, not better listeners or readers. Most of us think that being a good listener is to be courteous and polite; it is for the benefit of the speaker, not for ourselves.

Many people think of Toastmasters as a way to improve your speaking skills, but I would argue that it is an even better way to improve your listening skills. Depending on the size of the club, you will likely be listening far more than you will be speaking. The ability to pay attention and understand may not have the prestige and glory of giving a speech, but it is just as valuable.

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