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Headshot Young Girl

Rhonda Stroud McCutchen


Grayson, Georgia, USA

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Hard skills, such as degree and experience, are what helps individuals get the job, while soft, or interpersonal, skills help keep the job. Training in employability skills is needed in education, especially as we prepare students for life after school. Active listening and effective communication are two skills that have a cause and effect relationship. Less than 2% of people have ever had any formal training on how to listen. This lack of training can cause minorities, women, and individuals with disabilities to feel discarded/invisible. Being an active listener helps people feel their concerns are valid and that they, as individuals, matter. Too often we are not actively listening to the question or concerns of others. Because we listen at a rate of 125-250 words/min BUT think at 1000-3000 words/min, we immediately begin framing a response before fully understanding the concern. This causes confusion that leads to poor/miscommunication.

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