What are the guidelines to effective listening?

Listening is very important aspect of communication. Around 20% of overall communication is listening. Therefore, one should strive for adopting good listening habit. There are following guidelines for good listening:

(1)              Preparation before listening.

(2)              Listening to understand, not to refute.

(3)              Focusing the attention.

(4)              Concentration on context.

(5)              Taking notes.

(6)              Curbing the impulse to interrupt.

(7)              Asking questions.

(8)              Summary & evaluation.

 

The details of each point are as follows:

 

1.  Preparation before listening:-

 

As already mentioned that listening plays important role in communication. So one should prepare himself before starting listening. In preparation, there are following guidelines:

 

(i)                Stop talking:- Human brain can perform one activity efficiently at a time, so during listening there should be no talking by the listener.

 

(ii)              Remove distraction:- Noisy fan, traffic noise, entrance of unauthorized persons may interrupt the listening process. All these barriers should be removed.

 

(iii)            Good environmental conditions:- There should not be extraordinary cold or warm environment and ventilations should be proper.

 

2.  Listening to understand, not to refute:-

 

There could be many topics to which the listener has reservations. Apart form these reservations, the listener should try his best to understand the message.

 

3.  Focusing the attention:-

 

There may be many objects on which the listener should construct a mental outline of where the speaker is going in his speech.

 

4.  Concentration on context:-

 

The listener should keep in mind the background and theme of speech. This thing enables him to absorb the material quickly and efficiently.

 

5.  Taking notes:-

 

Listener should keep on taking notes. Hence, he should jot down ideas rather than sentences. In this way, he/she could make the message safe for a long time.

 

6.  Curbing the impulse to interrupt:-

 

One should avoid interrupting the speech until the speaker invites questions. This habit puts the speaker and listener both at ease.

7.  Asking questions:-

 

Asking right question on right time is quite different form interruption. Listener should have an idea to know right time to ask questions.

8.  Summary & evaluation:-

 

The listener should summarize and speech but not during listening process.

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