April 6, 2015
Everyone has had that moment in the middle of a conversation with someone when they realize that their conversation mate is not listening. You look up and their eyes are slightly out of focus and you realize that they are on another planet. There are seven different barriers to effectively listening. Through the course of your life you will experience or use all seven of those different barriers. Describe a situation from your life where you had trouble listening. In high school I found that I had a really hard time focusing in most classes. I was always ahead of my classmates in terms of school work and areas of study. I was always extraordinarily interested in learning about new and different topics which were not limited to what they were teaching in the classroom. I would often have a general knowledge of subjects being taught to us and while those subjects were new and interesting to my classmates to me they just were not. I had an especial interest in the medical world and all that entailed. I took a class called Medical Professions that covered basic medical knowledge. My mind wandered often in that class and I was often singled out for not listening. Identify two or more barriers that were present. Explain how each barrier contributed to your inability to listen effectively. The difference in the speech rate and the thought rate is the first barrier I experienced often in Medical Professions class. I would sit there trying to listen but my previous knowledge would distract me like something shiny to Dora. Look it swam over the trench and there I would go and follow the shiny things. I would try to focus on what the teacher was saying but I had a preexisting knowledge of the subject and that knowledge would lead my thought process away from the person talking and into my own mind. The second listening barrier that I was a victim of was the external noise listening barrier. I have always been an avid movie buff and reader. In high school I was the geek that always carried around her own novel with her. I read every chance I could and that was a huge distraction when trying to focus in class. I eventually got really good at reading and hearing the teacher at the same time but I was not always as successful as I could have been. If I was not actually reading the book I was trying to guess what would happen next or think about when I could read next. I would listen but not really hear anything other than the noise of my own thought about my book or newest television show. Determine which two strategies would allow you to cope with these barriers. Explain how each strategy may work to eliminate a particular barrier When trying to reduce the amount of noise present both internally and externally eliminating that noise where you have control is important. Steven Beebe states that you have a choice to make. You can attempt to listen through the competing distractions, or you can modify the environment to reduce them. Turning off the music, stepping away from the computer, and establishing eye contact with the speaker can help minimize the noise barrier. Focusing on what is in the present and staying present with the speaker is one way to cope with this barrier. Making eye contact and eliminating the distractions is important to remaining focused. To deal with the difference in speech and thought rate you can use the time to mentally summarize what is being said. Taking notes will also allow you to focus on what is being said and listening to that more effectively. You can’t eliminate the difference in the ability of the mind to process and the speaker’s lack of speed when talking but what you can do is use that time wisely. By using that time difference to continue to focus yourself you are turning a positive into a negative. Notes are a great way of focusing your mind on what is being said and what...
Cited: Steven A. Beebe, S. J. (2014). Interpersonal Communication: Relating to Others, Seventh Edition. Pearson Eduaction Inc.
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