ARTICLE: Active Listening Skills for Enhanced Communication

Active listening skills are the one significant factor in the process of effective communication. Not all of us are proficient and competent with the heavily dependent aspect of effective communication. Conveying respect and interest to the other person is another additional motive of effective listening. If you have the possession of the ability of problem-solving and satisfying the needs of the other person, then this is the crucial thing for you. The concept of constructive feedback depends on the broad spectrum of abilities such as feedback and the listening skills.

The number of factors and the reasons which make the process of effective listening so elusive are vibrant and extensive. There are several experiences which we all have in this case. Listening half to the other person with the intention of continuing with the work and not paying acute attention to the speaker is what we face every day. This shows that you don’t have a good capability of listening selectively. In this way, the value of the result and its main essence can be lost and kept unheard. Comprehending the communication process is also a significant topic to read.

If we talk about the workplace, then studies have shown that listening is the most significant aspect of the communication in the workplace. As the responsibilities of the managers’ increases, then the percent of the working day which goes in listening to someone else increases. On an average, the number of working hours that goes into this aspect is 10-12. As per the studies and the research, the accuracy in this field of interpreting the information is low. It is up to 25-50% of the other person’s remarks which the listener interprets accurately. The concept which rules here in this factor is the misunderstandings part, instead of the concept of exception. In order to have full proficiency and related effectiveness in the workplace communication is the becoming good to ears.

You can sharpen up your effective listening skills and develop them if you are short on them. Regarding the workplace, the best parts are the meeting, telephone conversation, supervisions sessions, chance meetings in the corridor. Allow me to burst your misconception that listening is all about hearing. It is not, and is very much more. Rather than being a passive process, the listening holds the tag of active psychological. If we need to maintain the meaning and attach it to the information, then the active listening part comes into play. Actually, it helps us in enabling us with the required efforts and concentration.

After listening to the other person, what we do is evaluate and interpret the meaning from the non-verbal and non-verbal information which we have received from the other part. Before imparting the answer, we rehearse and plan the response. It is better to do this before executing the reply to take care the essence and the tone of the answer. No, the evaluation, planning and the rehearsing of the answer takes place in the subconscious mind. This is the big reason why it does not affect the task of effective listening. For the smooth functioning of the process of listening and speaking between the two persons, then you need to maintain the effectiveness and awareness at every point of communication.

Listening Skills

Steps in the development of the effective listening skills are as follows-

1. If you are into the development of the ability to recognize as well as dealing with the barriers for the prevention of listening with full attention, then read the content and know what the related barriers are.

  • Hearing what our mind want to hear.
  • When we form an evaluation or judgment for understanding the concept or in other words, jumping to conclusions is another way which the people attract to create barriers in their life.
  • Rehearsal and the formulation of the response is also a barrier.
  • Holding the habit of being inattentive and thinking about something else when the other person is talking.
  • Self-conscious and feeling anxious.
  • Being judgmental, like being negative and positive.
  • Interrupting and excessively talking in the content.

2. The second type of the barriers include the development and using behaviors for listening falls into this category. The development of this behavior is significant because it helps the other person to know whether you are paying attention to him or not. Are you looking for the key areas to enhance the skill of listening effectively?

The people who are analyzers, and are good listeners, use a variety of techniques.

Follow the tips and tricks to be an active and good listener-

  • Stop talking and be open to the other person and listen
  • Stay away from distractions
  • Be amenable and receptive to the speaker. Accept and demonstrate that you are ready for listening to the other person. What works here the most significant is the non-verbal cues. For example, lean straightforward, maintaining an open posture is also important, have a comfortable and appropriate eye-contact. These are called the attending skills.
  • Until you come to understand the basic point of the talk, delay the evaluation process.
  • Say no to being defensive. Impatience and tension are to be tried and they likely for the transmission with the help of non-verbal leakage.

Along with reflecting the meanings of the person’s words, you also need to reflect the feelings which he wants to convey. Using the question format for the giving the feedback to check the level of understanding by the other person is crucial. When we phrase it as a question, we give an opportunity to them for correcting the correct any sort of misinterpretation.

We must give notice to the feelings as well in addition to the content of the message. The feelings are communicated with non-verbal cues, for example, facial expression, the tone of voice, and many more. Feelings are reflected and need to be interpreted when delivered as feedback.

1. To give feedback, ask appropriate questions. For example, ask for suggestions, and the views for broadening the position’s understanding.
2. If taking notes and deciding specific follow-up of the action and the date of the meeting, do it.

What have we learnt?

Most of the conversations do not take place effectively due to the lack of the involvement required. One of the most important skills in the concept of effective communication is effective listening. They have to be practiced and developed for gaining success in the journey. The skills of listening effectively and selectively hold the tag of being an active psychological process. These help in the attaching the meaning of the received information.

There are two steps in the development of the effective listening skills. The names of these two steps are dealing with barriers and the listening as per the behaviors. The list of the barriers which come in the way of gaining success in the journey is extensive.

Usage of the attentive skills falls into the category of active listening skills. This includes opening posture, comfortable eye contact, and leaning forward. Giving feedback is also an important step in the effective communication process.