We all breathe every minute of every day, but that does not make us good at it -- just barely good enough for routine purposes. Athletes learn to breathe effectively for their respective specialties, as do actors and yoga masters. The rest if us do well enough with inhale then exhale.
Listening is another matter. Unless we go into a soundproof isolation booth, sounds reach our ears all the time. That's hearing, not listening. Like breathing, the standard Mark 1 human rarely listens effectively.
Listening is a skill we can all improve without the sweat of a jock, the method of a thespian, or the discipline of a guru. Because it helps us understand and deal with others, it can offer huge payoff in either competitive or cooperative situations. By any measure of success, it is a skill that can make you more successful.
Because it is a skill, not a talent, effective listening can be learned and developed with practice. It is Personal Development 101, and we can all benefit from a refresher course and an opportunity to practice.
For those of you near Columbus Ohio on March 17, 2011, my friend Janna Yeshanova-Stephens is offering a free one hour workshop that evening. Check out http://www.life-spark.com for more about Janna, or http://www.life-spark.com/ListeningSkillsFlyer-March17JourneysofWisdom.pdf to learn more about or register for the free workshop.