Shut Up! and Be Heard

By: Melanie Wilt, APR

We listen to get information. We listen to understand. We listen for enjoyment. We listen to learn. You would think with all this listening we do, we would be good at it! But most of us are not.

Depending on the study being quoted, we remember a pathetic 25 to 50 percent of what we hear. That means that when you talk to your boss, colleagues, customers or spouse for 5 minutes, they only really hear 2 minutes of the conversation — if you’re lucky!

Clearly, listening is a skill that we can all benefit from improving. By becoming a better listener, we can improve our productivity, as well as our ability to influence, persuade and negotiate. What’s more, it helps to avoid conflict and misunderstandings – all necessary for workplace success.

So what’s the first step?

I think Dr. Evil says it best:

Kidding aside, it takes some structured silence to truly hear and understand others. That is the key to getting others to hear our important messages. I’m amazed at all the fact-slinging I hear in the bioscience industries with which we work. So many science-based professions (doctors, farmers, veterinarians and engineers) are trying to trump each other and bore the audience to death with their phenomenal intellect. Yawn!

I’ll expand on this during my program “Shut Up! And Be Heard” with the PIGTEAM at Heimerl Farms from Johnstown, Ohio later this week. This is the leadership team for an organization that works to bring healthy, wholesome pork to our tables through their contract grower network.

I applaud them for recognizing that listening is a skill – one that can be improved upon with a little patience, practice and peace.

Here are a few of my upcoming speaking events and presentations that provide science-based communication training:

June 8 – Shut Up and Be Heard, Heimerl Farms PIG Leadership Group, Marysville, OH
July 13 – Taking the Oh Crap out of a Crisis, Wittenberg University Leadership Team, Springfield, OH
August 18 – Authentic Voices, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation AgriPOWER Institute, Findlay, OH
August 22 – Taking the Oh Crap out of a Crisis, National Agronomic Environmental Health & Safety School, Bloomington, IL