When you think of what is involved in the process of listening most people think that it involves just spoken words and how those words are interpreted. But actually listening is more than just merely hearing words; the actual process of listening has many different factors that are involved. I’m going to summarize the ten most common factors that can affect the human listening process. The first factor that affects listening is culture. Culture is a factor that has affected almost everyone in today society.
People from different cultural backgrounds often have a hard time understanding and communicating with each other’s. Many cross-cultural encounters are hard for each side to interpret because much of the misunderstanding between people can be traced to problems in listening. Gender is the second factor that affects listening. It affects how women and men listen differently. It is said that women hear more of the message actually how it is, where a men will reconstruct a message to say what they want it to.
The third factor that affects listening is age. When a person gets older, their hearing will deteriorate and there will an increase difficulty for a person to receive messages. Attitudes are the fourth factor; a positive listening attitude and being open minded is a critical part of effective listening. The fifth factor that is known to affect listening is Hemispheric Specialization (brain). This factor shows how people listen different based on which side of the brain hemisphere is the dominant.
Physical and Psychological state of a person is factor six. A person’s physical psychological state can have a profound influence on the way the person is listening. When a person has a physical or mental condition active listening can be interrupted. Factor seven is self-concept, a person who is positive and is not insecure about them self will be more willing to listen and accept a message that is being received. Factor eight that can affect listening is Receiver Apprehension.
Apprehension of a listener can come from being worried about the immediate outcome of the communication and a person with this factor will have a high level of anxiety when it comes to have a conversation with someone. Another factor that affects listening is factor nine which is time. The amount of time a person has can affect listening if you don’t have time to fully listen, you as a listener will not receive the messages fully. And the last factor that is known to affect listening is a person listening preferences. There are many different listening styles that a person may have.
One may have a people-oriented listening style that focus on the emotional and relational aspects of communication, a content-oriented listening style where a person likes more complex information, action-oriented listeners prefer clear, precise information, while time-oriented listeners prefer short limited messages. While the factors that affect the process of listening are more complex than people may think. Listening is still more than just receiving messages and responding to them, it is a process that is influenced by many factors that help us understand what listening really is.