Listening is an important communication skill. Most of our time is spent in listening. Businesspeople spend nearly 50% of their time on listening. Listening is a vital element of communication of cycle. No oral communication is complete without listening.
“Listening is a complex and selective process of receiving, focusing, deciphering, accepting and storing what we here. Listening does not occur without these five interrelated, yet distinct, process.” –Dumont and Lannon
LISTENING PROGRAMS (OR) FAULTS IN LISTENING
People listen at only 25% efficiency. Why is it so? Following are some reasons:
- 1. SELFISH BEHAVIOUR
The biggest problem in listening is that most of the time we think about ourselves. We desire to tell our ideas, feelings, opinion, achievements, etc. to other. And we desire to do so at once-without even waiting for the other person to stop. In such a situation every one speaks and no one listens.
- 2. PREJUDICE
Prejudice means having opposed feelings against others. People often see who in speaking. They ignore what in being said. As a result, they lose interest in the speaker words. They reject the message only because they do not like the speaker.
- 3. DISTRACTIONS
Distractions block the way of listening. Distractions may be external or internal. External distraction includes noise, abnormal temperature, glaring light, background music, poor look of speaker, too many gestures, etc. Internal distractions include daydreaming, nervous habits, headache, etc.
- 4. THINKING SPEED
People generally speak betweens 80 and 160 words per minute. But they can think four times faster. So, a listener has much time. This difference between speeds may divert the attention of the listener.
- 5. PREJUDGMENT
Very often people jump to the conclusions. They themselves suppose a result. Without giving the speaker time, they arrive at a result. Then they are no more in a receptive mood. How can listening occur in this situation?
- 6. HATEFUL WORDS
We hate some people. In the same way, we hate some words. We have negative associations with some words. We do not listen to the speaker who uses such words repeatedly. This thing causes poor listening.
- 7. POOR DELIVERY
The way of delivering a message influences the listener. Poor delivery levels the people bored and uninterested. A monotone can send the listeners to sleep. Faulty pronunciation annoys them. A stammering speaker causes problems.
TECHNIQUES TO IMPROVE LISTENING SKILLS
HOW TO BE A GOOD LISTENER
Any one can be a good listener. Here are some techniques:
Like any other activity, listening also requires preparation. For a class, this means completing your reading and assignment responsibilities. For an outside speaker, you can learn something about the speaker, the topic, the audience, the situation before attending.
We have our pinions about the people. We may not like what is being said but we should listen. We may learn something that may decrease a prejudice. Try to suppress the biases. Give the speaker a chance to make the point.