Listening Skills Importance, Types And Features
Today I am going to share with you some of the Listening Skills Importance, Types And Features
First of all, let me tell you a brief idea of what is ‘Listening’. Listening is the process of hearing and understanding the message of the speaker.
When you are listening it involves 4 key aspects:
- Paying attention to the message (entire message or selective aspects of the message).
- Interpretation and evaluation of the message (decoding and drawing inferences).
- Responding (Feedback to the speaker, including non-verbal signs).
- Retaining the message (normally,10 to 25% can be retained the day after listening)
It means, if you have to develop effective listening skills, you need to improve yourself into these 4 aspects.
Listening Skills Types
You need to understand that all listening must not be of the same type. In different situations you need different listening skills. The way you should listen to your speaker depends on the content, purpose, the speaker and the listener itself.
Here are the four types of listening you need to practice.
- Appreciative Listening: in this type you as a listener appreciate the views, opinions and the ideas expressed by the speaker through your body language cues and encouraging words.
- Content Listening : here you selectively listen to only those content that is relevant or important to you.
- Empathetic Listening: it is something when you are actively listening and empathizing with the speaker.
- Evaluative Listening: this happens when you critically review or analyse of what is being said to you. eg. During scientific discussions, Business meetings, etc
Obstacles in Listening
As we all know, if there is something which has to be done effectively, there are some obstacles related to it. Effective listening is also affected by several barriers, which are:
- Problem of forced listening (eg. Students may be forced to listen to certain lectures)
- Fake listening (eg. nodding approvingly even though not paying attention at all)
- Language barrier (you as a listener does not understand the language of speaker)
- Emotional problems (eg. You may get upset or angry over certain remarks of speaker)
- Environmental problems (eg. noise or some other inevitable disturbances)
Benefits of Listening:
It’s absolutely beneficial for you if you are a good listener. It is been said as “You have Two Ears and One Mouth, Follow the Ratio. Listen more, Talk less“
Among many benefits, but here I have mentioned some of the key benefits of effective listening. It benefits both listener and speaker as well.
- Being good listener you can retain important aspects of the message.
- It helps you to take decisions or to solve problems regarding the topic.
- Effective listening helps you to develop a good relationship with the speaker.
- It encourages both, you and the speaker, to share your valuable experiences with each other.
- When you effectively listen to your speaker, he/she feels encouraged. It motivates them to give their best.
Listening is different from Hearing:
Listening is the art of hearing and understanding the message of the speaker. It means when you are listening to someone, it requires you to hear, understand and evaluate what is being said. i.e. listening involves the use of ears as well as mind.
Mere hearing involves only the use of your ears.
Degree of Listening
At same instance, different listeners listen with a different degree (level) of listening.
Let us imagine, you are attending a seminar along with your friends and other classmates. Then
- Some of them may have poor listening skills and therefore, they may pay little or no attention to what is being said.
- Few of them may only hear but may not understand at all.
- Also, there will be some friends who would selectively listen to certain aspects only.
- And there will be very few, who would listen attentively, evaluate properly, and retain certain aspects at least for some time.
You yourself may have experienced all these 4 situations in your past.
Considering the same example,
- May be at certain point you didn’t paid any attention, couple of times you selectively listened to certain aspects only.
- Many a times you hear attentively but didn’t understood what’s been said.
- And at times, you were able to listen attentively, evaluate it properly, and retained it for couple of days, if not weeks.
I hope you understood what is meant by degree of listening.
Listening and Retention:
You may retain only certain percentage of the matter that you have listened to. Studies indicate that listeners retain only 10 to 25% of the talk or a presentation, the day after listening.
Hence, it is expected from a speaker that he/she must make a talk or presentation with the help of effective visuals and relevant examples. So that listeners retain important parts of the message for long time.
Also, I advise you (as a listener), should note down the important points on paper or in smartphone/laptop whatever you have. You can also click photos or take screenshots of what you feel is valuable.
Can You Improve Listening Skills:
YES!. . . A big Yesss.. !
I too have poor listening skills, but I am practicing them so I can get better at it. If you are weak at something, you need to learn how to do it effectively. Remember, Practice makes man perfect.
In fact most of the people are poor listeners. People are trained in communication skills such as reading, writing and speaking. However, most of people don’t understand the importance of listening skills, and don’t try to develop it. As a result, most of us are poor listeners.
Hence whatever I am learning I’m sharing it with you. If you want to become effective listener, you need to have self-discipline and you must regularly practice it. You can surely improve your listening skills.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article 🙂😊.
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Thank You ❤
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