Many people neglect this most important communication skill. Do you know that we spend an average of our waking day communicating? Of this communication time, 9% is spent writing, 16% reading, 30% talking and 45% listening. Immediately after hearing something, most of us can recall only 50% of what we hear. Within two to eight weeks, we can recall only 25% or less of the original message. Our mental attitudes reduce our ability to retain what we hear. Some suggestions to being a good listener are mentioned below. First of all stop talking – you can't listen while you are talking. Ask questions – when you don't understand, when you need further clarification, when you want them to like you and when you want to show that you are listening. Don't interrupt – give them time to say what they have to say. Concentrate on what they are saying – actively focus your attention on their words, their ideas and their feelings as they relate to the subject. Look at the prospect – by looking, it gives them confidence that you are, in fact, listening. It helps you to concentrate too. Leave your emotions behind – try to forget your own worries and problems. Leave them outside of the meeting room. They will prevent you from listening well. Understand the main points – concentrate on the main ideas and not the illustrative material. Don't argue mentally – when you are trying to understand other people, it is a handicap to argue with them mentally as they are speaking. This only sets up a barrier between yourself and the speaker. Use the difference in rate – you can listen faster than you can talk. So use this rate difference to your advantage by staying on the right track, anticipating what they are going to say, thinking back over what they have just said and evaluating the development of their argument. You speak at about 100 to 150 words per minutes, but you think at 250 to 500. Learn to listen and you will achieve a great success in your life.