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Interpersonal Communication

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EFFECTIVE LISTENING
‘An effective listener is a person who is able to respond empathetically to another person, retaining objectivity and not becoming sucked into someone else’s mire’ (Porrit, L. 1990 p.83). There is a difference between listening and hearing. Hearing, a psychological activity which involves occurs when various sound eaves hit our ear drums. Whereas, listening, it relies on our ears, minds, hearts, and whole body. What do we hear first? Is it the message or oral sound? Do absorb what is being said or not being said? Do we accept the person wholeheartedly during the situation, if we hear? The focus of the essay will verify that there are seven processes to listening. Secondly, whilst listing positive aspects of effective listening. Finally, I hope to show that effective listening benefits all those involved and improves a situation when entering their understanding by leaving out judgments and reasons.
Why must we effectively listen? According to Julia T.Wood (2012), Interpersonal Communication: Everyday Counters, she states three guidelines to effective listening. That is being mindful, adapt listening appropriately, and listen actively. When receiving communication one-way, a good communicator must be mindful. This bears a lot of discipline as it the first and most important principle of effective listening. It requires that we put aside preoccupations such as checking text messages or daydreaming and preconceptions such as avoiding argument and try to understand them in their shoes. All Mindful listening is the best way to show respect and that they matter. Secondly, we adapt to listening appropriately. It explains that we need to be skilled in a variety of listening behaviors. Like all communication activities, listening varies according to goals, situations, and people. The purpose of listening, the context, and the need and circumstances of the person effects effective listening. For example, we prompt and encourage helping people express themselves. Whereas, others silent and attentive. In addition, paraphrasing or rephrasing help show clarity between them and we as listeners. Whereas, some do not. Lastly, listen actively. Mindful listening requires effective listeners to recognize effective listening invests in a lot of effort. To listen effectively, the mind must be willing to focus, to organize and prepared to interpret the thoughts and ideas of others. Beneficially, it shows that we are interested in both the context level and the relationship level of the speaker. However, as an effective listener, we must be aware that there are reasons to obstacles to listening and forms of non-listening.
There are many barriers to mindful listening. According to Julia T.Wood (2012), she states that there are external and internal barriers to mindful listening. The external obstacles are message overload, message complexity and noise. It is difficult to listen attentively when we engage ourselves in a lot of communication to process. Processing information can be overloaded from spending time in school or doing work. In some schools, there are about nine classes per day of the week and two breaks in between. After school, you are likely to do class projects, which requires research from various sources. Whereas in work, your boss expects that you follow and understand a new procedure. Both scenarios pose a great deal of information, which can lead to screen talking (Todorov et al 2002). Moreover, complexed messages such as slangs or multiple clauses seen in all language make it hard for listeners to follow and retain. A group talking amongst each other will understand multiple dense codes created from their reality. Whereas, a new comer to the group will need time and effort to organize and recall these new forms of language easier for later use in conversations. Additionally, noise a physical impediment that directly disrupts the flow of the message from speaker to receiver and vice versa. In communication, there is always noise. You are likely to get half the message during the roar of a crowd or traffic sounds from outside.
Moving on, the internal obstacles consists of preoccupation, prejudgment, reacting to emotionally loaded language, lack of effort and failure to adapt listening styles. Firstly, preoccupation happens when we tend to daydream. For example, when someone talks about his or her relationship, we drift into our own thought. Another reason is prejudgment. This lessens effective listening because the subject discussed or the person discussing it influences listeners to jump to conclusion. (O’Keefe, 2002). It is important to foreclose the possibility of learning something new. However, in the fourth impediment to internal obstacles is reacting to emotional loaded language. When reacting to words that evoke soothing, negative or strong responses. We fail to convey what is being said. Politicians often rely on voters to respond emotionally to certain words such as family or environmental situations or social problems. For example, in recent events such as the on-going presidential elections in the United States, Donald Trump, a candidate mentioned that he would reform immigration to control the flow of immigrants, the crowd roared. The solution for effective listeners is that if certain languages influences us emotionally, we monitor and practice on rethinking those words. Moreover, we lack effort due to psychological conditions such fatigue and hunger. If so, it is advisable to postpone interaction until you have regained energy to listen. Lastly, we fail to adapt to different listening styles among other people. Styles differ between masculine and feminine speech (Wood, 2012). For example, a person with masculine style will not see eye to eye with a person with feminine speech. However, even if we differing communication styles. Instead, we should try to understand respect different and listen effectively to their terms.
After the obstacles of mindful listening, there are six forms of non-listening (Wood, J. T. 2012). Such as pseudolistening, monopolizing, selective listening, defense listening, ambushing, and literal listening. Firstly, we engage in pseudolistening if the subject is not interesting or is already known or we want to appear as if we paid attention (O’Keefe, 2002). I do this because I do not want to hurt the person’s feelings. However, pseudolisteners relieve themselves when they do not respond appropriately. Monopolizing is a disruptive technique that focuses on rerouting and interrupting the communication focus to ourselves. This leads to a one-sided conversation because the other does not have the opportunity to learn about the other. Research indicates that women are more likely than men to interrupt to show interest and support (Anderson, K. & Leaper, C. 1998). Similarly, selective listening focuses only the particular parts of a conversation, which interests us. For example, people who love soccer are more attentive to an information regarding to anything about soccer. However, doing so could deprive us valuable information. Moreover, defensive listening occurs if we perceive the message is meant for a personal attack. For example, Gordon Ramsey, a famous chef and TV host of Hell’s Kitchen show. Chefs who attend the Hell’s Kitchen for achievement and merit would respond that his critique is almost a personal attack because he shouts at them when they make mistakes. However, people are generally defensive listeners because they perceive that most judgements are negative. This leads distort our perception of others when we communicate. Moreover, listening is used negatively if we want to attack a speaker to call out their falls in their speech. This is called ambushing. Lastly, literal listening. It involves listening only for content and ignoring the relationship level of meaning. For example, when I asked that I wanted to grow taller my parents would say that I should be sleeping early and having enough sleep and eating well. However, they never tend to the motive. When we listen literally, we attend only to the content level.
REFERENCES

Anderson, K., & Leaper, C. (1998).Meta-analyses of gender effects on conversational interruption: Who, when, where, and how? Sex Roles, 39, 225–252.

O’Keefe, D. (2002). Persuasion: Theory and research (2nd ed.). Newbury Park, CA: Sage

Todorov, A., Chaiken, S., & Henderson,M. (2002). The heuristic-systemic model of social information processing. In J. P. Dillard & M. Pfau (Eds.), The persuasion handbook: Developments in theory and practice (pp.195–211). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Wood, J. T. (2015). Interpersonal Communication: Everyday Encounters. 7TH Edition. Wadsworth-Cengage Learning. New York.…...

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