God gave you to ears and one mouth to use in proportion. When you are talking to people, you aren’t listening, You aren’t finding out how you can be a resource for them.
According to the University of Minnesota, the average college student spends about 14 hours per week in class
listening (or perhaps I should say "hearing"–there is a difference!) to lectures. See
if you can improve your listening skills by following some of the
Maintain eye contact with the instructor. Of course you
will need to look at your notebook to write your notes, but eye contact
keeps you focused on the job at hand and keeps you involved in the speech.
Focus on content, not delivery. Have you ever counted the
number of times a teacher clears his/her throat in a fifteen minute period?
If so, you weren’t focusing on content.
Avoid emotional involvement. When you are too emotionally
involved in listening, you tend to hear what you want to hear–not what is
actually being said. Try to remain objective and open-minded.
Avoid distractions. Don’t let your mind wander or be
distracted by the person shuffling papers near you. If the room is
too hot or too cold try to remedy that situation if you can. The solution
may require that you dress more appropriately to the room temperature.
Treat listening as a challenging mental task. Listening
to an academic lecture is not a passive act–at least it shouldn’t be. You
need to concentrate on what is said so that you can process the information
into your notes.
Stay active by asking mental questions. Active listening
keeps you on your toes. Here are some questions you can ask yourself as
you listen. What key point is the professor making? How does this fit with
what I know from previous lectures? How is this lecture organized?
Use the gap between the rate of speech and your rate of
thought. You can think faster than the lecturer can talk. That’s
one reason your mind may tend to wander. All the above suggestions will
help you keep your mind occupied and focused on what being said. You can
actually begin to anticipate what the professor is going to say as a way to
keep your mind from straying. Your mind does have the capacity to listen,
think, write and ponder at the same time, but it does take practice.