Introduction to listening
Listening is one of the major skills that human possesses. Listening is required for us to gather information, understand it, enjoy it and also learn. Listening process can be defined as a form of process which involves a series of intellectual process that includes receiving, understanding, remembering, evaluating, and responding. Listening is a very important process either in everyday life or in professional areas. Effective listening can contribute to proper communication. The more the chance of improving one’s grammar if they learn to listen before speaking it (Benson and Heilt,1978). Good listening is a key to an enjoyable conversation and compassionate commitment. Active listening is important to gather complete source of information and not being distracted by the surrounding around you (mindtools, 2012).
The process of listening is listed below:
- Receiving messages. This process is very important as listening is incomplete without receiving any sort of messages. This stage is only about hearing message which can be both verbal and non-verbal.
- Understanding. This stage is to learn and identify the meaning of message. Understanding message properly is very important as there will be many chances of mistakes if the messages are not understood properly.
- Remembering. If you are unable to remember something that was said, it might be that you have not been listening effectively. Then the whole listening process is not completed.
- Evaluating. The fourth stage of listening is evaluating where the received and remembered messages are important or not. Evaluation of the message can vary from one listener to another.
- Responding. It is the fifth and final stage of listening process which can be interpreted as feedback. Listeners will provide formative and summative feedback to speaker as per their evaluation.
In professional situation, better listening is required to make work process easier and it also allows employees to understand their allocated assignments. The progress of employees is directly dependent to their listening ability. Effective listening makes them able to understand what the management expect from them and how they are performing (Harry weger,2014). The better the listening the chances of success are more in professional life. Good form of listening allows any member to build a strong relationship with their colleagues, managers, and clients. So, I believe I have told my supervisor about the entire scenario and ask for the feedback which is very important for me to deal with the customer in future.
The three benefits of effective listening in business are listed below:
- It allows employees to understand their allocated work.
- Effective listening reduces conflict in workplace.
- Effective listening can also reduce the chances of mistakes.
The five ways to become a more effective listener are as follows:
- Should always focus what speaker says.
- You should raise questions to guide conversation.
- You must be goal oriented and have desire to learn something.
- Never interrupt and make noises.
- Always be ready to give the speaker feedback.
Various barrier that can come in diverse workplace
Listening is directly affected by diversity in workplace. As diverse workplace results in diversity of language, culture and norms which can be a factor for affecting active listening. Every team member may not be able to communicate in proper way which will make them demotivated and they may not be able to give their 100% at work (Kent state university, 2016). This may also affect the way they converse, make decisions and how they approach conflict. It can be challenging to them. Sometimes the accent or the tone of voice can also affect listening. For example: in my work place I am Nepalese so its quite challenging for me to adopt Australian accent and speak freely and also I am not able to fully understand what they are speaking and what they want of me.
Feedback can be both negative and positive which provides information. Constructive feedback is important for any organisation to improve their work. The more the culture the more diverse pool of talent. Constructive feedback can be both praise and criticism. If the company is praising open organisational culture it means there is more chances of ideas, opinions and views which is great in aspect of solving conflict and conducting company’s work. However, open organisational culture includes various obstacles that includes cultural barriers, social tension, and civic separation. The company also must take too much talk, ideas from everyone and sometimes it can only result to confusion. For example: my company endures open culture and try to celebrate every culture which is sometimes very hard to adopt.
So, in this way organisational success depends upon constructive feedback.
In the above scenario, it was very important for me to take the complaints and present it to my supervisor so there would be no room for errors. However, it was all because of lack of effective listening. So, I must be able to improve my listening and approach to the problem in an effective way. As I did not put my voicing and opinions it made me uncomfortable. I need to approach my supervisor about the scenario and ask him for his feedback about the ways to solve the conflict with customer. I will have to approach my supervisor and offer him some solution.
Every workplace faces various challenges and with the challenges come solutions as well. So, effective listening is one of the solutions which can solve problem in workplace.
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- Castleberry, S.B. and Shepherd, C.D., 1993. Effective interpersonal listening and personal selling. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 13(1), pp.35-49.
- Harrell, S.P. and Bond, M.A., 2006. Listening to diversity stories: Principles for practice in community research and action. American Journal of Community Psychology, 37(3-4), pp.365-376.
- Rae, A.M. and Cochrane, D.K., 2008. Listening to students: How to make written assessment feedback useful. Active learning in higher education, 9(3), pp.217-230.