Effective Listening

Category: Education

Presentation Description

This presentation is based on excerpts from the book "Basic Business Communication" by R V Lesikar & M E Flatley.


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Presentation Transcript

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Effective Listening Skills A Presentation by Rajiv Bajaj

Hearing & Listening : 

Hearing & Listening Hearing refers to the perception of sound with the ear – a physical act Hearing is required but not sufficient for listening Listening is a lot more than hearing

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Listening is a process that calls for concentration – it involves hearing with attention Poor listening is a major cause for miscommunication Listening involves sensing, filtering, and remembering

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How well we sense spoken words is determined by - (1) our ability to sense sounds; and (2) our attentiveness Filtering is the process of giving symbols meanings through the unique contents of each mind

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We sometimes give messages meanings different from the meanings others give them Remembering what we hear is part of the listening process Unfortunately, we retain very little of what we hear

Types of Listening : 

Types of Listening Passive Listening Inert or indifferent listening No conscious effort involved in receiving or absorbing the message Often stops at hearing - there is no effort to further process the message

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Listener physically present but not participating actively in the process of communication Message not absorbed Listener may not remember and recall the message at a later stage

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Takes place when listener is constrained by various physiological and psychological factors May be tiredness, illness, disregard for the speaker or lack of interest in the subject Also happens when speaker fails to meet the listener’s wavelength

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Leads to misunderstandings for the communicator He / she would be under the impression that the receiver has grasped the message

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Selective Listening Refers to partial or selective listening – When people only listen to what they want to listen to The receiver keeps tuning in and tuning out

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Attention is not focused and the listener lets his mind wander Results in the message not being thoroughly processed Takes place when listener is not in a position to concentrate Or considers the speaker to be poorly informed on the subject etc

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Active Listening Most desirable type of listening Listener makes a conscious effort to listen attentively; Decodes the message; and Absorbs it through a participative process

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Receiver shows proper regard for the speaker; Concentrates on what is being conveyed; Interacts with the speaker; Shows empathy; and Makes it easy for the speaker to deliver the message in a meaningful manner

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Means the ability to listen effectively When one listens actively, one not only comprehends the message; But also remembers and recalls it as and when required

Barriers to Listening : 

Barriers to Listening For listening to be effective, we must recognise and remove the barriers to listening These can be physical, physiological or psychological barriers - They may be people related or otherwise

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Physical Barriers These include – Low audibility levels, external noises and sounds Malfunctioning of audio devices Frequent interruptions, transmission failures etc

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People Related Barriers 1. Physiological barriers – When speaker suffers from ill health, fatigue, sleeplessness, hearing disorders etc May also be because of the accent and pronunciation shortcomings of the speaker

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2. Psychological barriers – These are our values, beliefs, bias, likes & dislikes, attitudes Lack of credibility, past experiences, stereotyping, discomfort with the topic etc

Improving our Listening Ability : 

Improving our Listening Ability To improve your listening, you must want to improve it We human beings tend to avoid work, and listening may be work ! Be alert. Force yourself to pay attention Concentrate on improving your mental filtering

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Think from the speaker’s viewpoint Consciously try to remember Importance of becoming a good listener cannot be over-stressed We are more influenced by what we hear than by what we read !

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The actual use of communication skills breaks down as follows: Writing 9% Reading 16% Speaking 30% Listening 45%

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Ironically, time spent learning these skills in school, is in a reverse order Time spent on the communication skill training in classroom is as follows: Reading 52% Writing 30% Speaking 10% Listening 8%

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Ten Commandments Of Listening

1. Stop Talking ! : 

1. Stop Talking ! Unfortunately, most of us prefer talking to listening Even when not talking, we are more inclined to concentrate on what to say next rather than on listening to others You must stop talking before you can listen

2. Put the Talker at Ease : 

2. Put the Talker at Ease If you make the talker feel at ease, he or she will do a better job of talking Then you will have better input to work with

3. Show that you Want to Listen : 

3. Show that you Want to Listen Convince the talker you are listening to understand rather than oppose This will help create a climate for information exchange Look and act interested Doing things like looking away, reading, looking at your watch etc distracts the talker

4. Remove Distractions : 

4. Remove Distractions Things you do also can distract the talker Don’t – Doodle, tap or play with your pencil Shuffle papers Scratch your head etc

5. Empathise with the Talker : 

5. Empathise with the Talker Place yourself in the talker’s position Look at things from the talker’s point of view This will help create a climate of understanding that can result in a true exchange of information

6. Be Patient : 

6. Be Patient Allow the talker plenty of time Remember - not everyone can get to the point as quickly and clearly as you can And do not interrupt Interruptions are barriers to the exchange of information

7. Hold your Temper : 

7. Hold your Temper Anger impedes communication Angry people build walls between each other They harden their positions and block their minds to the words of others

8. Avoid Arguments & Criticism : 

8. Avoid Arguments & Criticism Arguments and criticism tend to put the talker on the defensive They tend to clam up or get angry Thus, even if you win the argument, you lose Rarely does either party benefit from argument and criticism

9. Ask Questions : 

9. Ask Questions By frequently asking questions, you display an open mind It shows that you are listening At the same time, you also assist the talker in developing his or her message and in improving the correctness of meaning

10. Stop Talking ! : 

10. Stop Talking ! The last commandment is to stop talking It was also the first ! All the other commandments of listening depend on it

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