Communication is the foundation of all quality relationships. When we think of communication, we think of speaking, but it also includes reflection, body language, tone, timing, and listening. Listening is crucial for effective communication. When seeking to develop and maintain strong relationships, “attentiveness” is key.
I have found that listening is an attitude of the heart. It comes from a genuine desire to understand and value the person speaking. A direct result of increased listening skills is enhanced relationships. One of the most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. Understanding that communication is a skill that can be honed and expanded upon is crucial. Making the personal choice to sharpen your communication skills shows your desire to be an effective communicator.
As I have examined differences between men and women, I discovered the quality of hearing varies between the sexes. Men only use one side of the brain when listening while women use both. Scientists have discovered females can hear much softer sounds than those audible to males. Women have a sense of hearing 2 to 4 times more acute than men(depending on the frequency tested). This difference is present as soon as children can be reliably tested.
These facts could explain why most women can listen to the television, hear the kids play, and talk on the phone all at the same time; while most men need to walk away to answer the phone in order to avoid other noise distractions.
Women have an advantage over men when it comes to hearing. Simply put, women are better designed to receive and process multiple auditory inputs at the same time (a form of multi-tasking). The average male only takes in ONE auditory input at a time. With this being said, men, when your wife or children are talking to you, turn down the television or radio so you don’t miss what they are trying to communicate.
Studies have also noted that women are much more sensitive to hearing higher-pitched sounds and are naturally more proficient in noticing small changes in volumes and pitch. This is also why a female is much more affected by tone of voice than a male. We have all heard it said that women are too sensitive. Well, there is a reason, and science supports it. Even though we all should be conscious of our tone when communicating, women are physically (in their ability to hear) much more sensitive. Becoming aware of these God-created differences can help us all understand how to become better communicators.
It is my hope, that all of our relationships improve by perfecting our communication skills. James 1:19, “…everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak…”