The Causes of Poor Listening

ListeningWhile there are sometimes other contributing factors to poor listening, here are the four main causes:

  1. Failure to concentrate – The average person talks at a rate of 120 to 150 words per minute, but the human brain can process an amazing 400 to 800 words per minute, causing people to experience “spare brain time,” during which they are thinking about other things instead focusing on the speaker.
  2. Concentrating too hard – Some people try to soak up everything a speaker is saying, which often causes them to miss the point, because it becomes lost in unimportant details.
  3. Forming precipitous conclusions – People do this in two ways: either by thinking they know what the speaker is going to say and draw to the wrong conclusion; or they reject someone’s ideas, before the person has even fully expressed their ideas.
  4. Concentrating on manner of speaking and personal appearance – People focus their attention on how someone speaks, for example, accent, speech patterns, or even speech defects, or they focus their attention on someone’s appearance, for example, facial features,  dress attire, or hairstyle. As a result, they fail to concentrate upon what is actually being said.

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