Tuesday, 8 September 2015


 Listening is misunderstood by most people. Because these misunderstandings so greatly affect our communication, we need to take a look at four common misconceptions that many communicators hold.

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1. Listening and Hearing Are Not the Same Thing

 Hearing is the process in which sound waves strike the eardrum and cause vibrations that are transmitted to the brain. Listening occurs when the brain reconstructs these electrochemical impulses into a representation of the original sound and then gives them meaning. Barring illness, injury, or earplugs, hearing can’t be stopped.  Your ears will pick up sound waves and transmit them to your brain whether you want them to or not. Listening, however, isn’t automatic. Many times we hear but do not listen. Sometimes we deliberately tune out unwanted signals: .

Listerning  consists of several stages.

Ø  a).After hearing, the next stage is ATTENDING—the act of paying attention to a signal. An individual’s needs, wants, desires, and interests determine what is attended to, or selected

Ø  b) The next step in listening is UNDERSTANDING—the process of making sense of a message. In addition to these steps, understanding often depends on the ability to organize the information we hear into recognizable form. The successful understanding consists number of factors, most prominent among which were verbal ability, intelligence, and motivation.

Ø  c). RESPONDING to a message consists of giving observable feedback to the speaker. Offering feedback serves two important functions: It helps you clarify your understanding of a speaker’s message, and it shows that you care about what that speaker is saying.

Good listeners showed that they were attentive by nonverbal behaviors such as keeping eye contact and reacting with appropriate facial expressions. A slumped posture, bored expression, and yawning send a clear message that the audience are not tuned in to the speaker. Listening isn’t just a passive activity. As listeners we are active participants in a communication transaction.

d)The final step in the listening process IS REMEMBERING. This is true even if people work hard at listening. A listener can be remembered only half of after were retained. Within two months half of the half is forgotten, that is we remember 25 percent of the original message. People start forgetting immediately (within eight hours the 50 percent remembered drops to about 35 percent).

2. Listening Is Not a Natural Process

Another common myth is that listening is like breathing: a natural activity that people do well. The truth is that listening is a skill much like speaking: Everybody does it, though few people do it well. Listening requires Effort Most people assume that listening is fundamentally a passive activity in which the receiver absorbs a speaker’s ideas, rather the way a sponge absorbs water. Every kind of listening requires mental effort by the receiver. And experience shows that passive listening almost guarantees that the respondent will fail to grasp at least some of the speaker’s ideas and misunderstand others.

All Listeners Do Not Receive the Same Message When two or more people are listening to a speaker,we tend to assume that they all are hearing and understanding the same message. In fact, such uniform comprehension isn’t the case. Physiological factors,social roles,cultural background,personal interests, and needs all shape and distort the raw data we hear into uniquely different messages. 


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