Barriers to Listening

Day dreaming

Something which I am sure all of us have done in our life, when the speaker is speaking instead of focusing on the speaker and attempting to understand and learn, we are thinking about something else, like, what should I have for snacks, which movies should I go this weekend? If the speaker is being paid to present information to you, time and money is being wasted.

Arguing with the Speaker

Instead of listening to what someone is saying, a poor listener will disagree mentally and think about a rebuttal. People will actually play out a complete argument in their own mind at the same time they should be paying attention to what the other person is really trying to say. This kind of mental arguing is very damaging to the communication process and will often lead to misunderstanding and conflicts between people. The effective listener will wait until the speaker is totally finished with his or her statement before making an evaluation or judgement prior to responding.

Do not yield to distractions

Our lives are noisy and confusing but we shouldn’t use this as a convenient excuse for not listening. We can overcome some of the distraction by reducing noise and adjusting the listening environment. If we have no control over the distractions then we must rely on intense concentration to get as much as possible from the speaker

Lack of Interest

How many times are we in a presentation with no interest, attending it as we made to attend?

Lack of interest in the speaker’s topic does create a difficult situation. How does the saying go? Deal with it.

Good listeners try to find useful information in any presentation or message. A listener with a negative attitude about the message or the speaker will have a tough time being effective as a listener. A good way to increase listening effectiveness is to maintain a positive attitude about the speaker and really work at listening for useful information.

Desire to Talk

The most common barrier to effective listening is jumping into a conversation before the other person has finished. This includes talking loudly to others in the audience. This is conversational bad manners. It is intrusive and disruptive. Granted, most of us feel more involved and active when we are talking. Even so, it’s always good manners to remember that listening is just as important as talking.

Try Not to Assume

We often develop bad habits of not listening because we assume it will be of no interest or use to us. We also make prior judgments about the amount of resistance or approval we will get from someone. With these prior notions we act without hearing or waiting to hear the speaker. We could improve our listening skills significantly by exercising patience and, even if we think we know what will be said, allow the speaker to finish.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: