Essay on Effective Listening

1395 Words 6 Pages
Effective Listening

The ability to listen well is an important tool for understanding others. Sadly, very few people know how to listen well. In fact, most people can think of only one or two good listeners in their lives. Listening is not simply agreeing - it is much more. Good listeners are able to better understand and respond to others, complete assignments accurately, settle disagreements before they escalate, and establish rapport with difficult people.

Listening is often confused with hearing. This serious misconception can lead us to believe that good listening is instinctive. In fact, good listening is an active, sophisticated process – a learned behavior – that demands focus and attention. Listening takes place on
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Content listening can lead to serious misunderstandings and is especially deceptive because it appears the listener is tuned in.

Superficial Listeners

Superficial listeners are often judging, daydreaming, or rehersing their response this is essentially hearing, not listening. The listener is tuning in and out thinking little of the talker, and mainly listening for a chance to jump in and take over the conversation. People who listen at this level are pretending to listen and are often quiet and passive.

To achieve deep listening, the listener must take on certain responsibilities to help the talker and to ensure that there is agreement about the interpretation and intent of a message. Specifically, the listener must focus on the talker and pay close attention to what is being said. Strive to understand the meaning of the message and respond accordingly. Keep in mind that the response lets the talker know whether or not the message is getting through and allows him or her to adjust the message accordingly.

Listener Responsibilities

Determine the talker's needs during the interaction. At the beginning of a conversation, the talker may be tentative and not say what he or she means. Whether he or she continues often depends on the listener's initial response. Stay neutral and try to listen objectively. Direct, clear communication rarely occurs when information flows one way. Listening blocks are obstacles that interfere with our listening they
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