Effective Listening Strategies

Effective Listening Strategies

EffectiveListening Strategies

Nameof Institute

EffectiveListening Strategies

Listeningis defined as the paying close attention to the speaker with minimalinterruptions. Over the years, people have enforced attentivelistening skills to initiate understanding between conflictingparties with 80% success rate(Housel,2001).In today’s modern society, the presence of electronics and theinternet has distracted people from listening to their parents,teachers and peers. Due to the decreased rate of listening in the21stcentury, it is important for people to learn the skills to use whenactively listening.


Attentivelistening is described as listening to the speaker attentively,assuming that we hear and understand but never verify if we have.This form of listening is characterized by a desire to understand andexchange ideas among members of the audience so that there iscollective sharing of thoughts and perceptions. Other featuresinclude potential to use all senses, respect the speakers’ ideas,opinions and suggestions and the willingness to conform to thespeakers’ ideologies(Nancy,2007).Attentive listening is beneficial because it resolves disputes andconflicts as the speaker is able to relay emotions of happiness,sadness, disappointment and despair without interruptions from theaudience. Research has shown that once the audience is attentivelylistening to the speaker there is minimal chance of conflict arising.There is the unlikelihood of misunderstandings since the audience isclosely listening to the speaker. The listener understands what isbeing communicated hence there is no room for contradictions.Attentive listening considers differing opinions and points of viewbecause the speaker is open-minded when voicing his or herargumentative opinions.In addition, it identifies agreements anddisagreements between the speaker and the audience. Attentivelistening differs from listening because it evokes emotions andfeelings from the audience and the speaker, plus, there is immediateresponse from the audience in case there is a misunderstanding ordisagreement(Nancy,2007).


Iconsider my mother to be the best listener I know. She always setsaside time to listen to my complaints, suggestions, ambitions andlife plans with minimal or no interruptions at all. I find it easy totalk to her since she is a gifted listener. Some of the qualitiesthat make her a good listener is that she fights off external andinternal distractions to maintain her mental concentration on mywords(Housel,2001).Plus, she maintains eye contact, which is an excellent sign that sheis paying close attention to every word I tell her. According toWestern culture, people who tend to maintain eye contact while beingspoken to are considered credible, honest, transparent, genuine andtrustworthy (Nancy,2007).Research has shown that eye contact helps the listener understandwith the speaker’s emotions, thought process and mental state. Inoticed that she would carefully watch my non-verbal cues such asbody movement, posture and facial expressions. My mother wouldconstantly tell me that there was tone and voice variation when Italked to her about my relationships with friends and family. Herattentiveness to the sound of my voice proved that she was anexcellent listener. When I wanted to know if she was listening, Iwould interject myself with remindful questions like ‘wherewas I when we parked the car at the gas station?’ifshe answered correctly without hesitation or mumbling, I knew she waslistening.


Inthe presence of a client, I would demonstrate attentive listening bysuspending my own judgments especially if the conversation wascontroversial or opinionated. Withholding my opinions or comments tothe topic would help me know if the client was listening. The bestapproach to know if the client is attentively listening is to enforcethe SOLER model which would help me gauge the client’s attention.SOLER model helps the audience to Squarely face the speaker, Openbody posture, Lean slightly towards the speaker, Eye contact andRelax(Housel,2001).These are the five ways to identify if the client is attentivelylistening. In a professional setting, to demonstrate attentivelistening it would be best to attend an inspirational seminar wherespeakers are communicating to the audience through microphones andother forms of visual presentations. As the speakers talk, I wouldjot down brief notes on my notepad, in case a speaker mentionssomething controversial or misleading I write a reminder to ask thespeaker to clarify or prove his or her assertions as true during theQuestion and Answer (Q&ampA) segment.


Theexternal environmental is a major roadblock that affects my listeningskills because I can easily distracted from a client if there isnoise, disturbance or commotion. Due to my busy schedule duringnormal business hours, it is difficult to attentively listen to aclient because of the phones ringing, email notifications from mysmart phone and the secretary constantly knocking the door. However,I can overcome this by switching off all electronics in my office andmount a ‘Don’t Enter/Don’t Disturb’ notice on my door duringclient meetings. Lack of concentration is another roadblock thataffects my attentive listening skills. I can overcome thispredicament by learning how to maintain uninterrupted concentrationand attention with the client. Lastly, emotional and mentalinstability disrupts my attention while listening because my mind ispre-occupied with a lot of uncertainties and concerns. Fortunately, Ican overcome this by learning how to control my emotions and thoughts(Housel,2001).


Attentivelistening is the best listening technique that people should learn sothat communication becomes effective. It is a skill that has improvedhow people negotiate, interact, resolve and handle conflicts anddisputes.


Housel,D. J. (2001).&nbspDevelopinglistening skills.Westminster, CA: Teacher Created Materials, Inc.

Nancy,J.-L. (2007).&nbspListening.New York: Fordham Univ. Press.