Understanding the barriers that there may be between speaker and listener can shape better communication. Burley-Allen (1995) states awareness is a vital step; it is difficult to change something we are not aware of. The best way to shape better listening habits is to practice effective listening daily. We have to be aware of the barriers before we can become effective listeners and better responders. Listening is to give one’s attention to a sound; take notice of and act on what someone says, respond to advice or a request. As humans we simply receive and respond to spoken and sometimes unspoken messages. Listening is a strong characteristic of my S type within my behavioral blend. People tend to respect my loyalty and encouragement, and I tend to be best at listening.
This actually compliments my C/S/I personality type because I am comfortable when I express myself and enjoy open and detailed discussions. I have noticed if I am unaware even a great listener can be thrown off if not careful. Out of three levels I have always been an empathetic listener, and I understand the importance of giving everyone the chance to voice their opinions equally. Until now I truly have a clear understanding of how listening is very effective in communication. One major barrier to effective listening is that in this society we have equated speaking with mastery and power, talking is used to gain power, to punish, to relax, and to conceal or reveal (Burley-Allen pg.50).
When a person pays attention to you by having good eye contact, is attentive, to what you are saying, or acknowledges you, this kind of listening has positive power (Burley-Allen pg.50). Week 3# 4
“Inhaling and Exhaling”
I love the metaphor that Stewart uses to describe inhaling and exhaling. Stewart (2012) Reflective Journal Entry2 identified the differences between inhaling and exhaling. Stewart (2012) states the metaphor allows to focus first on perception and listening. This reverses the historical tendency to begin one’s efforts to improve communication by focusing on what one says. As stated in my response to the last discussion on inhaling and exhaling “the best thing about communication is that we practice it every day when we speak to others. Since we share information when we communicate this makes inhaling and exhaling important to effectively communicate. Inhaling and exhaling can be especially helpful in difficult situations and conversations. The two aspects take place in both verbal and nonverbal communication.
Understanding that we are all different is what inhaling and exhaling rely on. God didn’t Intend for us to all be the same person since this is what makes each of us unique. No two people are alike and the way we perceive and listen to information when communicating can vary in many ways; including culturally, environmentally, influences, beliefs, and religion. We inhale and exhale as we breathe in life. So exhaling allows us to communicate from interpersonal level because we can express ourselves and our unique being through our own ideas and feelings as we are intended to.
Burley- Allen, M. (1995) Listening The Forgotten Skill A Self-Teaching Guide 2nd Edition John Wiley & Sons New York, NY
Stewart, J. (2012) Bridges Not Walls A Book About Interpersonal Communication 11th Edition McGraw Hill Companies, Inc. New York, NY
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