Effective communication depends mainly on listening
A national panic ensued during the 1938 radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds. People didn’t listen to the many announcements made throughout the broadcast that the story was fictitious. Halfway through the program, Orson Welles looked up from his microphone to discover that the studio was filled with police. Radio stations, newspapers, hospitals, and police were flooded with phone calls regarding the “invasion”. People don’t listen any better today, to a great cost for them and everyone else involved.
Listening is at the forefront of communication. Just think about how often during the day you spend time listening: the radio during your commute, television in the evening, at the movie theatre, through ear buds attached to a portable music player, audio seminars and podcasts over the Web, office conversations, airport announcements. The listening ability of airplane pilots and control tower personnel is critical to a successful and safe flight. And those company meetings you attend: one person talking, everyone else listening. The written word, and its incumbent paperwork, is much slower than the spoken word — when business needs to move fast, the keyboard and pen are eschewed in favor of oral communication: talking and listening.