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  1. 1. Listening Listening is the most frequent, perhaps the most important type of on the job communication. Recent studies indicate that • Studies indicate that adults spend about 29.5 percent of their waking hours listenig. • Recent studies that focus on the workplace show that, on an average, personnel at all levels spend about 32.7 percent of their time listening. • Speaking takes up 25.8 % of their time and writing 22.6%. • Top executives spend even more time listening than other employees. Active listening is the most crucial skill for becoming a successful manager.
  2. 2. Stephen Covey in his book “Seven habits of highly effective people.” identifies listening as one of the effectives habits. Listening can improve work quality, and boost productivity. Poor listening leads to innumerable mistakes because of which letters have to be retyped, meetings rescheduled, shipments re-routed. All this affects productivity and profits. Good listening helps employees to update and revise their collection of facts, skills and attitudes. Good listening also helps them to improve their speaking. However, good listening skills are quite rare in the business world today.
  3. 3. Barriers to Effective Listening When we hear we only perceive sounds., but when we listen, this hearing is accompanied by a deliberate and purposeful act of the mind. To listen means to get meaning from what is heard. One may hear the words another person utters without really understanding them. There are certain factors which impede effective listening Physiological Barriers Environmental Barriers Attitudinal Barriers Poor Listening Habits Lack of Common Experience
  4. 4. Physiological Barriers Hearing impairment Hearing deficiencies. Once these deficiencies are detected, they can usually be treated. Speaking-Thinking Rate According to an estimate we speak at an average rate of 125-150 word per minute. Our mind can however, process 500 words per minute Environmental Barriers Physical Distraction Distracting sounds, poor acoustics, uncomfortable seating arrangement can all hamper effective listening. However, it is impossible to counter those distractions through concentration When all your attention is focused on what is being said, the other noises take back seat to your consciousness. Unless ofcourse, the noises are too powerful.
  5. 5. Message Overload When you are forced to listen to a quick succession of messages, then after a point your receptivity dulls. You find it gets impossible to listen attentively . Attitudinal Barriers Also known as psychological work Prejudices Preoccupation A casual attitude Egocentric Prejudices ---Sometimes our prejudices and deep seated beliefs made it possible for us to be receptive to the speaker. For example politicians of two different parties.
  6. 6. Preoccuption Sometimes we are preoccupied with other concerns. As students, all of you must have had days when you registered nothing of what was said in the class because your thoughts were on the freshers’ party. A casual attitude Hearing is relatively easy, we assume that we can do without much concentration and efforts. This attitude is often a major barrier to listening. Egocentricism Many people are poor listeners, because they are overly concerned with themselves. sThree personal concerns dominate their listening behaviour. These can be summed up : I must defend my position I already know what you have to say. These are effective barriers that destroy the critical link between speaker and listener.
  7. 7. Poor Listening Habits Listening like much of human behaviour tends to follow consistent patterns. Most of us develop certain bad listening habits that eventually create a pattrern. Some of the common bad habits are : • Faking attention • Listening only for facts • Avoiding difficult and uninteresting material • Focusing on delivery Many times we are concerned with how someone says something, and we pay little attention to what he or she is actually saying. Lack of common experiences It is difficult for a person to understand what is being said, if he or she has no experience, either direct or indirect of the concepts being
  8. 8. discussed. For example a village farmer may not understand the concept of business discussed in a business school. APPROACHES TO LISTENING • Discriminating Listening • Comprehensive Listening • Critical listening • Active Listening • Be motivated to listen • Be prepared to listen • Be objective—You are more receptive when you approach it an open mind. To be objective one must avoid jumping to conclusions. • Be alert to all cues—Look for the speaker’s main ideas. The speaker’s voice quality, inflection, emphasis and body movement can all offer clues to what the speaker feels is more important.
  9. 9. Make good use of the Thinking-speaking Time Difference Use Feedback Practice Listening Use Verbal and non-verbal cues to encourage the speaker. What speakers can do to ensure better listening • Try to empathize • Adjust your delivery • Utilize Feedback –Be sensitive to listener’s response • Be Clear • Be Interesting The better you listen, the luckier you will get. So take time to listen
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