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Communication Skills; Effective Listening

Updated on November 3, 2013
listening via morgueFile
listening via morgueFile | Source

In English subject student first the fundamentals of communication, one of it is called listening. Ever since from the start, our life even in school days we are practicing listening skills unconsciously especially when we communicate to others.

Listening is a communication technique that requires the listeners to feed back what he hears to the speaker by way or paraphrasing what he has heard:

1. Decoding – is the active intellectual process of transforming information from one format to another.

2. Interpreting- to explain the meaning, to present or conceptualize the meaning by means of art or criticism

3. Understanding- is a relation between the knower and an object of understanding. The listeners tried to understand what he heard.

4. Evaluating- after you interpret, you evaluate what you heard by examining the meaning and by judging carefully.

Kinds of Listening

These kinds of listening are follows:

Voluntarily- this is where the person has a willingness to participate completely in communicative situations even without the intervention or motivation by the environmental factors.

Purposeful- you listen for a purpose and because some very good reason perhaps you listen because of the information you want to gain or any thoughts that you can learned as a listener.

Motivated- there is a similarity to a purposeful like in purposeful you listen because of very good reason or no one can stop you to listen.

Cooperative- the listener is quite and giving his full attention and cooperation. You listen to what the speaker saying and you do not reject the speakers’ idea.

Critical- the listener follows the speakers’ ideas attentively in order to get things more clear so that he may able to make intellectual judgment when he evaluates other ideas before responding. This is where respond to what he has heard.

Listening is very powerful. But did you ever ask yourself why we listen? There are some good things where good listening does for us in communication situations.

1. It stimulates better communication between the parties involved. It obviously that whenever you listen to your partner, it will have a better communication and understanding between you and the person you are talking with.

2. It makes you appreciate and enjoy what you hear. In increases and expands the range of one’s enjoyment of life. It gives pleasure and even comfort. For example, when you listen to music, stories, jokes and other ideas that makes you listen because it is interesting.

3. It contributes and promotes better responses among the members of the group. It facilitates the meetings of mind; it involves the concentrate of mind during listening process.

4. It assists you in understanding what is being said.

5. It decreases the tensions of life and gives pleasure that is pleasing to ears.

6. It enables you to understand what is said. You can criticize or manage to disagree or agree, to add something if not ask questions about what is being said. Truly emphasizes the concentrations of mind made you to response, interpret and evaluate what being said.

7. It enlarges one’s experience. Listening broadens and enriches the mind. It may develop you higher thinking skill.

8. It helps you make better decisions. It provides input as too see for decision making. For example, you have problems and you need advices, different ideas, suggestion and reactions are being received and by that, you can choose intelligently that will suit in solving your problem.

9. It enables you to connect you own problems of vocalization. Listening to your voice gives you the opportunity to realize you faults and mistakes, by that you can arrange or give more attention to what is needed.

Do you listen attentively whenever someone is speaking?

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Purposes why we Listen

We have different purposes why we listen. Some of these are the following:

· To appreciate and enjoy what being told. You are please of what you hear.

· To draw inspiration

· To improve oneself

· To classified and make intellectual judgment, fair criticism and evaluate ideas

· To obtain information

The listening process

These are the process within the ability of the listeners

1. Physical or attention stage- this involves the ability to hear or catch sounds by the listeners. A person must be free from destruction and interference, noise or uncomfortable environment.

2. Logical or auditory discrimination- this includes how the mind read the messages, sounds caught by the person are transmitted to the brain to interpret and give meaning to the message heard.

3. Semantic or comprehension stage- this is the ability of the person to translate, I interpret and give meaning to the sound he heard into thoughts, ideas, and symbols by means of denotative and connotative meaning. This involves the feeling or emotion of the listener that affects his reaction and interpretation to others.

4. Retention stage-the ability of the person to retain or remember the ideas conveyed and ability to apply or use those ideas in life’s’ situation.

Types of Listening

These are two types of listening:

1. Active listening- this is a contrary to passive listening. The listener requires exerting effort in order to have a clear understanding to what he heard.

2. Serious listening- this type of listening requires a concentration of mind and thoughts. This is where the listener shows his eagerness to listen. It may be divided into:

a. Critical or discriminative listening

It is subdivided into four levels:

1. Attentive listening- the listeners show his full cooperation with his auditory system.tis involves concentration of thought together of his full attention to the speaker.

2. Retentive listening- the listener retain all the ideas heard and knowledge form the speaker.

3. Reactive listening- the listener react or respond to the speaker either he disagree or agree to what speaker is saying.

4. Reflective listening- the listener interpret or analyze all ideas he gained from the speaker. He feels and reflects all the ideas he had heard.

b. Social listening- this involves the interaction to the others while listening. It classified into:

1. Appreciative listening- the listeners listen for pleasure purpose and enjoyment.

2. Conversational listening- the listener respond to the speaker. He is jot must only listening but also converse or communicate in order to maintain good communication relationship.

3. Courteous listening- this really means that it is more than just being silent. He just only show he listen, for example by moving his head to show that he is agreeing to the speaker.

There are levels of listening. These are:

1. Ignoring- this is where the speaker communicates but the listener truly ignores completely the speaker because of some other concerns and intervention.

2. Pretending- the speaker communicates that the listener glance or stare blankly. This is the listening on the eye. The listeners listen only for the sake of being courteous.

3. Selective listening- the listener chooses or select only those words that he want to hear. For example, jokes, anecdotes and stories that he is interested. This listening involves eye and ear.

4. Alternative listening- the listener look at the speaker, give his ear and concentrate to all words or thoughts that he wanted to hear. He interprets, understand and interpolate all the ideas. This listening involves the eye, ear and, mind.

5. Sympathetic listening- you are not only looking to the speaker but also you give your full attention and concentration to the thoughts delivered. It affects your emotion form the ideas you have heard. This listening involves your eye, ear, mind and heart.

6. Emphatic listening- this is the highest level of listening- this is where you are not only using your ear, eye, mind and heart from what you hear from the speaker but you are taking action and you are applying all your information’s and thoughts that you have heard from the speaker. You have an active response of solution. This is not just on the pity level but on being in the actual situation of the speaker. The emphasis is on listening. This listening involves your eye, ear, mind, heart and accompanied with action.


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    • KenDeanAgudo profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth C Agudo 

      7 years ago from Tiwi, Philippines

      @Au fait that is true, it is good to think more and listen than to speak which may cause more confusion and mistakes.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      7 years ago from North Texas

      Listening is so very important and something very few people do well. If even a quarter of the people listened as prolifically as they speak, the world would be decidedly improved for everyone.

    • KenDeanAgudo profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth C Agudo 

      7 years ago from Tiwi, Philippines

      Thank you CraftytotheCore for reading =)

    • CraftytotheCore profile image


      7 years ago

      I never knew there was so much information about listening. Another great example of your writing skills.


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