BCom Effective Listening Notes Study Material
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BCom Effective Listening Notes Study Material
Studies related to communication have revealed that every person listens more than he speaks, reads more than he writes, and spends more time in receiving messages than he spends sending messages. It is true that a person spends more time listening but he rarely thinks of increasing his listening efficiency. (BCom Effective Listening Notes Study Material)
Listening may be defined as the perception or actual understanding of whatever has been communicated. One cannot be hundred percent sure of it, because perception or understanding differs from person to person. In fact, listening, as we think or understand, is not so simple a process. Most of the persons are not capable in this respect, as they hardly take care of listening properly or think about listening carefully.
So, they remember less than they listen. In other words, most people listen mostly in an ineffective way. Listening is very important in the communication process. Without listening communication is not possible. It means, that without effective listening effective communication is just not possible. (BCom Effective Listening Notes Study Material)
The ability to listen is an important skill for managers because this skill helps them in performing their duties and responsibilities in an effective way. For this, they need more and more information. (BCom Effective Listening Notes Study Material)
According to Floyd J. James “Less listening capacity is a main source or origin of the problems related with the work at every level.”
Phillip Morgan and H. Kent Baker have proved that an average person is capable of remembering only half of what he listened to 10 minutes earlier, whereas the other half forgets within 48 hours. Here, it is important that most people need to improve their listening capacity. (BCom Effective Listening Notes Study Material)
In a communication process, listening and reading are the activities of the receiver, so he must take the responsibility of decoding the message with greater care. On the other hand, the responsibility for careful encoding of the message rests with the sender.
In time distribution a manager/executive spends most of his communication time 45% listening. Here, listening means not only the listening of words but this listening time also includes the time spent understanding the meaning of the words.
The following FIVE activities are included in the listening process:
1. Sensing. While listening, we should write down the message, because the noise, weak hearing power, and carelessness during the receiving of the message may act as a barrier. To overcome these barriers we should pay proper attention while receiving the message.
2. Interpreting. When the speaker is speaking in some other context, then it is necessary to analyze as to what is the real meaning of the speaker’s words. For this, we will have to pay attention to his non-verbal activities. It increases our decoding capacity, and also helps in interpreting the message properly. (BCom Effective Listening Notes Study Material)
3. Evaluating. It refers to the listener’s view as expressed in relation to the message. The listener has to think over necessary symbols or codes given by the speaker and separate ineffective suggestions. All these activities are included in the evaluation.
4. Remembering. The messages are stored in the memory for reference in the future. The main points of the speaker’s talk must be noted down or stored in our memory. (BCom Effective Listening Notes Study Material)
5. Responding. It includes receiving the message given by the speaker and to express our response to that message.
Listening necessarily consists of mental and physical activities, and physical and mental barriers are its subject matter of consideration.
Types of Listening
Different kinds of listening capacity depend on different situations. Thrill and Bovee have explained four types of listening:
(i) Content listening. It means the capacity to understand and preserve the message:
(ii) Critical listening. It means the capacity to evaluate the message.
(iii) Emphatic listening. It means the capacity to convey the message to others.
(iv) Active listening. It means the capacity of listeners to give an opinion on the message, along with a disturbed state of mind due to conflicting ideas.
In addition, there are four types of listening:
(1) Pretended to listen. In this type of listening, through facial gestures, it is shown as if communicated message has been well listened to. In fact, the listening is absent, only the message is heard.
(2) Selective listening. In this type of listening, the message does not listen completely. The necessary part of the message listens and the unnecessary part is ignored. (BCom Effective Listening Notes Study Material)
(3) Attentive listening. In this type of listening, the speaker’s each and every word is listened to and understood with full concentration of mind and heart.
(4) Intuitive listening. In this type of listening the message is understood with natural ease along with similar other thoughts coming into the mind. Such a situation helps in understanding the message with its real and complete meaning.
Essential qualities of a Good Listener
The main elements of good listening are as follows:
- Positive attitude. Every person cannot be a good listener. For good and effective listening, a positive attitude is required. If the listener shows a negative attitude then the objective of listening is not fulfilled.
- Ability to concentrate. A good listener must have the ability to concentrate. The human mind has a wonderful quality of thinking and understanding in more than one direction simultaneously and therefore, concentration is required. In any person, the capacity to speak is about 180 to 250 words per minute, whereas listening capacity is about 400 to 600 words per minute. A slight diversion in communication on the part of either the sender or receiver will create confusion. Such a situation is known as ‘Miscommunication’. If the listener is disciplined and concentrates properly, miscommunication can be minimized.
- Enter into question-answer session. When the listener is losing his concentration better to start the question-answer session. A listener asks questions, and the speaker looks at him and gives the answer. If the speaker keeps an eye on the listeners then losing concentration is not easy and his mind cannot divert to other things. (BCom Effective Listening Notes Study Material)
- Conducive body postures. Body language helps in communication while listening. While sitting in a chair and taking a rest on the high back or sitting in the seat of the chair shows that the listener wants to keep away from the speaker.
Objectives and Advantages of Effective Listening
It is necessary to know the objectives and advantages of effective listening. They are as follows:
- Listening increases communication capacity. If the listener is good, then the chances of confusion and error will get reduced, repetition of words will also get reduced time will not be wasted, and thus productivity will increase. In short, the listener’s work capacity will increase.
- Effective listening will increase the sense of awareness in an organization.
- Effective listening helps in understanding the real meaning of the sender’s message. This also helps in making correct decisions, because of the good quality of information. (BCom Effective Listening Notes Study Material)
- Good listening can remove human problems. Most of the objectives of downward communication can be achieved by good listening.
- Concentrated listening helps in creating a congenial atmosphere amongst the employees of the organization. Patient and listening with care help in avoiding explosive situations. (BCom Effective Listening Notes Study Material)
- When the employees find that their superiors listen to their demands and grievances carefully and with patience, then the employees become more cooperative and responsible.
- Listening also helps in controlling explosive situations.
- Good listening influences others to listen with care.
- Effective listening creates a feeling of importance, recognition, and appreciation among employees.
- Listening also helps the organization form better policies. If we listen carefully to the ideas and suggestions of subordinates and co-workers then we will get the indication as to which type of policies are more suitable.
Effective listening is a unique art. It needs alertness, eagerness, patience, and practice Proper training can increase listening capacity by 25 percent. When a speaker is talking with 100 to 200 words per minute and the listener is in a position to receive more than that, then he will be taken as a good listener, because he is concentrating on the message A good listener utilizes his time in understanding the objectives of the speaker’s message and tries to understand its real meaning, and also studies and analyses it properly.
IMPORTANCE OF LISTENING IN BUSINESS COMMUNICATION
- Listening is an important part of the communication process. One-third of communication is devoted to speaking, writing, and reading. An efficient officer spends 50 percent of his time listening.
- Listening plays the main role in the success of the general manager, salesman, personnel manager, etc. If a manager listens carefully and understands the requirements, problems, and ideas of his subordinates, then he is able to create zeal and enthusiasm among them and thereby improve the functioning of the organization. (BCom Effective Listening Notes Study Material)
- A conscious and alert mind is needed for effective listening. It should be free from unfavorable emotions like jealousy, enmity, hate, and anger because their presence results in poor listening.
- Good listening indicates that the listener is honest and trusts the speaker. Such a situation leads to free communication between them and inter-personal contact is immediately established.
- Curiosity to learn is directly related to listening. Our mind is always curious to gain and learn new ideas, and solutions. So we should pay attention to developing our listening habits. (BCom Effective Listening Notes Study Material)
Barriers to Effective Listening
Following are the barrier to effective listening:
- Problems related to hearing. Hearing disability is a barrier to effective listening, it is a physical problem and not a mental one. The number of such persons is generally very small in an organization and it can be reduced or removed through treatment by the Doctor.
- Acute thoughts. When the speaker is communicating with a speed of 125 words per minute and the listener is having the capacity of listening 500 words per minute, then it is an ideal situation to understand and analyze the speaker’s message or statement. This enables the mind of the listener to think about new ideas and thoughts related to the message. We get bored by the speaker whose speed of speech is slow. (BCom Effective Listening Notes Study Material)
- Overloading of messages. If the mind of the listener is overloaded with the messages, then his mind does not easily absorb the fresh message and is unable to understand it properly. If the message or statement is lengthy, illogical, and not orderly arranged then it is troublesome for the mind of the listener and leads to ineffective listening. (BCom Effective Listening Notes Study Material)
- Proudness. Egoistic and self-centered personality is a common barrier to effective listening. ‘I am always right and all others are wrong’, such an attitude is a barrier to listening. An open mind and clear heart, which is free from negative emotions, are needed for listening.
- Feelings. We should have selected and limited feelings. If this is so then the listener will have selective listening and will receive the necessary part of the message and will not pay attention to the unnecessary part. We should not pay attention to what is being said but should listen only to what we want to listen to. Sometimes negative feelings like jealousy, enmity, anger, and hatred convert a favorable message into an unfavorable message. (BCom Effective Listening Notes Study Material)
- Cultural diversity. Modern business organizations’ activities are spread over various regions and localities, and the persons belonging to different communities and culture work in these organizations. Even if all of them use a common language, their accent will differ because of cultural and regional diversity. This is a barrier to listening. (BCom Effective Listening Notes Study Material)
- Lack of training. Listening is performed as an instinctive activity like eating and sleeping but for effective communication, it is not only listening that is important. For effective communication, we need ‘effective listening’, which can be acquired by hard work, concentration, and practice. For this, training is required. In our educational institute training for effective reading, writing and listening are being provided.
- Wrong assumptions. Some wrong assumptions are responsible for weak listening like:
(i) To assume that it is the responsibility of the communicator or speaker only to make effective communication.
(ii) To assume that listening is a favorable function and therefore, the listener should sit calmly and quietly and listen to the message of the communicator or speaker. (BCom Effective Listening Notes Study Material)
(iii) To assume that the speaker keeps in mind that listeners are weak and without power and must concentrate on his speech. It is also assumed that the speaker’s tendency is to show down listeners. Whereas every person influences others with his activities and also gets indirectly influenced by others. (BCom Effective Listening Notes Study Material)
Tools to make Listening Effective
- Stop talking while listening.
- Give liberty to the communicator/speaker.
- Concentrate and maintain to listen to desire.
- Avoid chit-chat, disturbance, and hesitation during listening.
- Keep control of yourself.
- Keep yourself in place of the speaker.
- Listen to the communicator/speaker and do not give self-decision.
- After listening completely then ask for solutions to your questions and doubts from the speaker.
BCom Effective Listening Notes Study Material