What is active listening?
Active listening is a person’s ability and willingness to listen and understand. Often we people talk to each other. We might not listen at a time because lack of attentiveness, which can distract the speaker. In way active listening can be called as responding to another person that develops mutual understanding. Active listening is process in which the listener paraphrases in its own words what the speaker had said to confirm or clarify of accuracy of the message. “Active listening involves listening with your head and your heart; that is, you listen to the content of the message but also the feelings behind the message. The skill of active listening involves paying attention with empathy to the listener, as opposed to distracted denying, cynical or ostrich behavior. New session leaders of alcoholics anonymous meetings are advised to’…. Take cotton form your ears and put it in your mouth’. (Hogan, 2000)
Listening can wrongly be viewed as a passive activity; the speaker talks and the listener listen’s. The listener is silent and passive and the speaker is active and verbal. When the speaker finishes its talking, the assumption is that the message has been accurately received by the listener, with no observation participation or effort active listening statement. “The most basic of all human needs is the need to be understood”. (Fujishin,1997)
Listening does not mean just have sit with the mouth shut stirring at the person. A dead body can do that. It is an active process which requires participation to understand fully the meaning of a communication. Listening actively involves clarifying, paraphrasing, giving feedback. Paraphrasing: state in your own word what the speaker had said in the talk. It is sign of good listening. It keeps the listener busy trying to understand and know that other person means rather than blocking. Clarifying: it goes along with paraphrasing. It means asking questions until the listener get the correct picture. In order to understand fully what the speaker said. Clarifying assist the listeners to sharpen its listening focus so that the listener hears more than vague generalities. Giving Feedback: feedback is what active listening depends on. After paraphrasing and clarifying the listener gives an example what had been said and hopefully understands it. This is the point at which the listener can talk about reaction. In freely way the listener share its thought, felt or sensed.
Active listening is really one of the mostly physical and mentally challenging aspects of facilitation. Listening sometime does not come easy for some people not because they are not willing to listen but because they are not able to do so. Actually their mind does not come up with the total picture because some people see the world in one dimension. This inability to listen using both side of the brain can cause misinterpretation, miscommunication and miscalculation. As a result the listener with in ability could not be able to deal with logic of a relationship and also with the emotional component. Therefore this unbalanced use of brain often results in the inability of the listener understand all the essential signs form the person speaking. Therefore active listening require usage both side of brain. Unfortunately there are few people who are able to understand this fact who instead see this skill in one reflecting use of the both side of brain.
Taking holistic approach toward listening requires special discipline or rules on the part of the listener. The basis reason is that many listeners tend to fall into their own comfort zones by in taking what they want to hear and skipping rest of the important data and facts. As a result hearing selectively can lead to incorrect conclusion of data and information. Listening is like art were there are opportunities for huge errors. “This information is taken from the Source: Kliem (2007) “Effective Communications for Project...
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6. Fujishin(2007) “Creating effective groups: the art of small group communication” Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
7. Kliem(2007) “Effective Communications for Project Management” Publisher: CRC Press
8. McKay, Davis & Fanning (2009) “Messages: The Communication Skills Book” Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
9. Spencer & Pruss (1997) “The professional secretary 's handbook” Publisher: Barron 's Educational Series
12. http://www.gordontraining.com/artman2/uploads/1/ActiveListening_RogersFarson.pdf (accessed 6 august 2009)
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