Newsletter - Learning Matters - No.6

Test Your Listening Skills

Effective listening is a highly valuable skill in business today. Whatever your business, whatever your position, you will gain more respect, learn more and improve your relationships if you develop your active listening skills.

Most people would rate themselves as a pretty good listener. However, sometimes it is not easy to listen and we do have to make a special effort to listen actively. Some of the main barriers to effective listening are:

  1. We think we know what the speaker is going to say next
  2. We have our own agenda and therefore hear what we want to hear
  3. We are distracted by other things going on in the room
  4. We are simply waiting for our turn to talk
  5. We may be prejudiced in some way against the person talking to us
  6. We are in a hurry and therefore listen selectively

Try testing one of your colleagues with the following questions to see how well they listen. Read each question once only and move through them quickly.

Position your cursor over the 'answer' link at the end of each question to find out the answer.


  1. Some months have 30 days, some months have 31 days. How many have 28?
    Answer

  2. Is it legal in Britain for a man to marry his widow's sister?
    Answer

  3. A woman gives a beggar 20p. The woman is the beggar's sister but the beggar is not the woman's brother. How is this?
    Answer

  4. An archeologist claims he found two coins both dated 46BC. Could they be genuine?
    Answer

  5. What can you drink from, sleep in, and clean your teeth with?
    Answer

  6. I have in my hand two coins totalling 15p. One is not a 5p piece. What are they?
    Answer

  7. A farmer has 17 sheep. All but 9 died. How many has he got left?
    Answer

  8. Why can't a man living in Oxford be buried West of Ipswich?
    Answer

  9. 9. You enter a room in which there is an oil lamp, a paraffin heater and a gas fire, You only have one match left in your box - which would you light first?
    Answer

  10. How many animals of each species did Moses take aboard the ark?
    Answer


Learning Curve - Reading, Berkshire, England: +44 (0)118 987 5683 moreinfo@yourlearningcurve.co.uk

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