Listening facts you never knew

Strong communication skills are essential in the professional world. Here are some facts about how people listen and converse.

Do you want a promotion?

If so, you may want to reevaluate your communication skills.

According to an infographic from Get In Front Communications, subscribers to the Harvard Business Review rated the ability to communicate “the most important fact in making an executive promotable.” They ranked it more important than ambition, education and hard work.

The infographic goes on to list other statistics about communication and listening. For example, did you know that we derive 55 percent of a message’s meaning from the speaker’s facial expressions, 38 percent from how he says the message and 7 percent from the actual words spoken?

Here are a few more facts:

  • We listen to people at a rate of 125-250 words per minute, but think at 1,000-3,000 words per minute.
  • Less than 2 percent of people have had any formal education on how to listen.
  • Images go into your long term memory, whereas words live in your short term memory.

Take a look at the graphic for more:

(View a larger image.)

Kristin Piombino is an editorial assistant for


2 Responses to “Listening facts you never knew”

    Laurie Schloff says:

    Hi Kristin,
    Great infographic. Unfortunately, I’m looking at this six years late!! I do want to chat with you or a colleague about one of the statistics presented.
    My best,
    Laurie Schloff

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