Introduction a universal form of communicating. Listening

By April 16, 2019 Communication

I believe that listening skills are vital to success because it is a universal form of communicating. Listening is an important tool in communicating with others. We tend to think of communication as just being about expressing ourselves, but that is really only half of it. It is also just as important to know how to listen. Good listening is a skill . From my perspective, not everyone is perfect in listening because there are many reasons why effective listening does not happen. Focusing on my own listening habits , it shows that I have number of good and bad habits. Thus , there are also strengths and weaknesses in my listening habits .
No Listening Habits Listening skills
Never Sometimes Often Usually Always
1. Asking questions
(Not to embarrass or attack, but to clarify and distill) 2. Rehearsing
( I rehearse what I am going to say and how I am going to say it) 3. Daydreaming
( I think a lot and live inside my head when another person is talking to me) 4. 5. 6. 7. Selective listening
(I only focus on key ideas in a conversation 8. 9.
Asking questions only to ensure understanding.

One of my strength in my listening habit is I like to ask questions . I like to ask questions but I think it would not be a good idea for me to ask so many questions . If I ask way too many questions , the speaker would probably assume that I was not listening or paying attention to them. I ask questions only to ensure understanding and it is not to embarrass or attack, but to clarify and distill the thoughts in my brain. Not just about clarifying the message , I can also obtain additional information from the speaker. Moreover , I often ask open-ended questions to the speaker because I can receive responses which is more in depth than simply a yes or know answer. To sum up , asking questions both test your knowledge of the subject and forces you to look deep into your mind so you understand what you don’t understand.

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Give the speaker regular feedback.

Moreover , as a listener I will always provide quality feedback to my speaker. It is necessary because a response to a speaker demonstrates that I have listened and considered the content and delivery of the message. By doing so, I am are letting my speaker know that I am interested in what she or he is saying and it also shows that I am paying attention. I usually praise the speaker’s message or delivery because it can help boost his or her confidence and encourage good speaking behaviors rather being a defensive listener.

NO Weaknesses Ways to improve
1 Pseudo-listening -Focus more , show appropriate actions, not get distracted easily and avoid daydreaming.

2 Rehearsing -Fully concentrate , respect and validate , keep an open mind
3 Daydreaming -Enhance awareness, ‘Be With The Person’, eye contact , write on memo or note,
4 Selective hearing – Appropriate eye contact, go for the big picture,develop curiosity, paraphrase or mirror back information
Faking Attention or ‘Pseudo-listening”
One of my bad listening habits is I have engaged in pseudo-listening many times in my life. Pseudo-listening is behaving as if you are paying attention to a speaker when you are actually not. Sometimes I smile, nod, add a few words while masking thoughts that have nothing to do with what is being said by the speaker. The only reason I do pseudo-listening is not to disappoint my speaker. It is because I think that my speaker would be devastated to actually know that I am not paying attention. I thought this was actually a good move but I mistook it. I learned that my speaker would be even disappointed if they found out I am actually faking everything. Even if I can get away with it, I am just gaining nothing except the reinforcement of bad habits.

My plan to improve this bad listening habit is I have to avoid pseudo-listening and try to actually focus on what the speaker has to say. I have to show appropriate actions that go well with the conversation. One of the reasons that made me do pseudo-listening is I find lengthy conversations as a waste of time. Even when speakers are dull, I sometimes must use great effort to keep from being distracted by other things. It is important not only to focus on the speaker, but to use non-verbal cues such as eye contact, head nods, and smiles to let the speakers know that they
are being heard. Using non-verbal cues might help me to fall into the conversation and not get bored. Therefore, I have to look for the main ideas and avoid being distracted by details and focus on the key issue.

Moreover , I often think about my reply before the other person has finished. Then in all probability I am just not  HYPERLINK "" "" listening. Sometimes I tempt to start forming my own argument before the conversation ends. I rehearse what I am going to say and how I am going to say it. Thus , this listening habit makes it impossible to hear my speaker’s message. Much of the time when people are speaking to me, my head will be filled with my own personal thoughts and agendas.
My plan to improve this bad listening habit is I have to fully concentrate on the words of the speaker, rather than indulging in finding debatable issues in the conversation. I have to remember that my task is to be an effective listener, rather than proving myself to be a winner in a debate competition. I have to learn it is all about respect and validate about what others are saying. I have to stop such thoughts from occurring and learn to put these thoughts aside and be with the other person. Not just that , I have to keep an open mind when I am listening . I have to listen without judging the other person or mentally criticizing the things she or he tells me. To sum up, I must learn to put these common tendencies aside and focus my awareness on the potential value of what others have to say.

Furthermore, sometimes I daydream during a conversation . I think a lot and live inside my head when another person is talking to me. I often wander off into my own thoughts during a lengthy conversation. I find the conversation boring and allow that to affect my concentration and this leads me to tune the speaker out. I always talk to myself in my head almost to the point that I am actually living inside my head during a conversation instead of out in the real world. HYPERLINK "" Undoubtedly, this listening habit makes me not to pay attention to the message delivered by the speaker. Sometimes I try to stop and avoid daydreaming when someone is talking with me, but then I will catch myself doing it again and I do not even realize it.

My plan to improve this bad listening habit is to enhance my awareness.I have to stop daydreaming from occurring and learn to put these thoughts aside and be with the other person. ‘Be With The Person’ means I have to be fully focus on what the speaker is trying to say. If it is hard for me to listen, maybe I can take my own notes on the information given so that I would not be lost. Moreover , I have to make eye contact with the speaker and write whatever information I am getting from the speaker in a small memo or note. I have to concentrate only on the speaker and I should not stare at other places and other people. If I do so, I would miss some of the information and staring at other people makes me to think and yet start daydreaming again. Therefore , to avoid daydreaming I have to fully concentrate on the speaker.

Selective listening
In addition, selective listening is one of my bad listening habit. I only focus on key ideas in a conversation and they have heard the main points or have got the gist of what the speaker wants to say. I filter out what I want to perceive as being of key importance and then stop listening or become distracted easily. It is more like skimming where I decide when to retain important information and when to ignore non-critical information. To my perspective, I thought selective listening would help me to save my time and energy in listening to others. I have my own agenda of interesting and valuable topics and disregard or are disinterested in others’ agendas. I came to realize that this is not a good habit to learn and this is just of selfishness.

My plan on enhancing this listening habit is to make appropriate eye contact with the speaker. Since much of communication is non-verbal, it is incredibly important that you soak in as much information as possible rather than taking short details. I have to go for the big picture and not just concentrate on the selective ideas. Moreover, I have develop curiosity . Being curious makes me to collect all the information given by the speaker. Other than that , I have to paraphrase or mirror back what I hear to ensure I understand other points of view. I also have to encourage different opinions with the intention of considering them thoroughly and learning from them. All in all , it is clear that I can avoid instances of selective listening by being curious about other things and information.

As we all know, habits may be something that we are used to, but they are also something that we have the ability to change. Most experts believe it takes about three weeks to break a habit. In light of this, make it a conscious goal for the next three to four weeks to try to address any poor listening habits you may have. After you have followed good listening habits for several weeks in a row, you will have overcome the poor habits and replaced them with good ones.


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