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Effective communication: Bad listening habits you need to drop


Date Posted: 4/11/2018 12:06:38 PM

Posted By: Chiry  Membership Level: Silver  Total Points: 297

Effective communication requires undivided attention from both parties involved. It is a two way traffic and when one party is more involved than the other, it becomes ineffective. As a matter of fact, we are all guilty in one way or another of being bad listeners when it comes to communication. It may sometimes seem unavoidable to invest a hundred percent of one's attention, but putting a little effort always makes a big difference. Below are some of the bad listening habits we need to break:

a) Destructive listening- This involves the habit of listening with a preoccupied mind. Your mouth says you're ready to listen but then your mind is somewhere else. By the time the other party is done telling their story, you don't even know what response to give. One should try to listen without having to think about a bunch of other unrelated things.

b) Suddenly changing the topic- As human beings, it is typical to talk about what we find most interesting. usually this is basically what personally concerns us, not the other personality. In order to be a better listener, one ought to resist the urge to talk about something else and objectively listen to the other person. Avoid such statements as..if you think that is bad then you need to listen to what happened to me. let the other person finish telling their story.

c) Inappropriate posture and gestures-A good listener displays positive welcoming gestures such as leaning forward and maintaining a steady eye contact. Gestures such as folded arms, being busy on the phone, swinging the chair back and forth are all clear indicators that one is totally uninterested with what the other person is saying. One should display the positive gestures in order to encourage the other party to talk freely. The unwelcoming gestures

and postures completely demoralize one from sharing their story.

d) Insensitive listening- This is based on facts rather than feelings. It is totally inconsiderate to the other party's feelings. Instead of sympathizing with the other person, one is totally unconcerned with the weight of their story. When listening to a sad story about how one lost their loved one, responses like he was too sick anyway, or he was way too old are definitely very inappropriate and Insensitive. one should be a concerned listener who actually cares about what their counterpart is talking about. No one would enjoy telling a story to a very Insensitive listener.

e) Listening defensively- This is listening while feeling like the other party is attacking or offending you. Instead of concentrating on what they have to say, you are busy thinking of how you can defend yourself. This is a big destruction and one ought to know that the other person's story completely has nothing to do with you. Listen objectively with a will to actually offer any help necessary. That's why the person came to you in the first place, because they need your help, right? The last thing on their mind is to actually judge or attack you and understanding this is necessary in order to be a better listener.

f) Constantly interrupting and pre-stating someone's points- This is actually very irritating and it could eventually make one to stop telling their story. Constant interruption is the best way to kill an intimate conversation. It simply shows that one is not patient enough to listen to every detail of the story. They are just not interested. As a good listener one should listen patiently without jumping into conclusions that are usually wrong most of the time. If you agreed to listen, then listen.

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