Analyzing Your Listening Effectiveness Study
The listening process involves a lot more than just hearing and includes being aware of the speaker, actively focusing on the present moment by blocking any internal or external distractions, having an objective of hearing the speaker and analysing words delivered by the speaker and how they are delivered. My listening effectiveness depends on a number of factors that are in my control or are beyond my control (Battell, 2006).
I have strengths that contribute to making me an effective information listener. The strengths include being attentive to the listener as they speak. Secondly, I have an ability to maintain my focus on a speaker by blocking any thought digression and ignoring any external disruption to my attention. Thirdly, I consider the delivery of the message by the speaker in terms of their mood, composure and emphasis. This enables me to get not only the spoken words, but the speakers feelings about the words and their expectations on my response (Woods, 2010).
Unfortunately, I mostly find myself listening defensively, as I take in most personal references as criticism. Sometimes because of listening defensively, I get a very wrong meaning of what has been said and end up with the wrong impression of the speaker. Another weakness is that i become selective at what I listen to, choosing only what interests me in a conversation. While listening to non-interesting parts of a conversation, I internally question the relevancy of the conversation instead of paying attention. As a result, am unable to recall a conversation after a moment. When conversing with people whom I find uninteresting, I use my interest prejudice as a reason to bias their speech as uninteresting. In such cases I completely ignore the body language of the speaker and only take in their words at face value. This makes it difficult to remember their words later because I have nothing to associate with the words (Woods, 2010).
I would like to improve my listening attention to all speakers irrespective of my prejudices. In order to accomplish this task, I shall ensure that I pause at what I was doing and pay attention to the speaker instead of listening while still performing other tasks. Secondly, I shall practice the affirmation that while listening, the delivery of words is the most important aspect to consider other than the words spoken. This affirmation will assist me in demonstrating appropriate feedback to the speaker that will enable them to appreciate my attention. Finally, I will seek to understand the speaker’s words in a non-biased way after the realization that prejudiced listening hinders me from getting the overall context of a conversation. While listening, I will not to judge the speaker before they are done speaking. Instead, I will respond appropriately such as using eye contact and nodding (Woods, 2010).
In some instances, listening attentively is not beneficial, especially when the task is repetitive on same conversations that have no clear benefit. For example talking to strangers whose conversation will not be worthy of remembering later. In such cases, I shall use my pseudolistening skills to pay attention to the speaker and actively be thinking about other things. Practicing pseudo listening will allow me to encourage the speaker to feel comfortable and speak while am able to disregard what they say without showing them that am not interested (Woods, 2010).
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