I believe most people are good listeners but can easily fall victim to barriers that make them poor listeners. The best listeners have learned to recognize barriers and overcome them through much creativity and practice. For myself, I sometimes catch myself falling into the second level of listening. Baack describes this level by explaining how people in this level fail to really grasp what the speaker is really saying even though they are listening to the words (Baack, 2012, p.6.1). My “fix it” personality can often trap me in the details of what my speaker is saying which derails me from the flow of the message causing me to miss crucial points intending to be made. One exercise that has helped me is personalizing the message. It allows me to slow down before I respond which helps me consistently follow what the speaker is saying until the end. Then based of my complete understanding I can respond. Because most people want to be good listeners, companies improve listening skills of employees by setting up multiple means of communication to solicit feedback through both active listening and interactive listening situations. Listening meetings for all levels facilitate an interactive listening situation. This is helpful because pointed questions can drill into the root of employee’s frustrations and excitement. Companies also have hotline services that allow employees to remain anonymous if the wished to do so. This would be an example of an active listening situation. People feel most valued and appreciated when they are listened to so being a good listener promotes engagement, respect and overall successful in organizations.
Baach, D., (2012). Management communication [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://ashford.content.edu
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