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Listening Audience!

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FINAL PAPER 1

Listening Audience!

Brandon Picone

COM425

Kristine Clancy

Nov 8, 2014

FINAL PAPER 2

Listening Audience!
At the root of effective listening is appreciating the difference between hearing and listening. Hearing is merely a physiological process; whereas, listening is an interpretive process (Schnell, Jim 1995).We can always learn something from listening to someone. Humans are special in that way, and as listeners, we cannot have that attitude like we know everything. Someone will always have a difference of opinion, it just matters how you will use the information. Some people may think that listening is a waste of time, but in actuality, listening is never a waste of time. The more we pay attention and push ourselves to be active listeners, the better the communication will be with our peers, leaders, employees and customers. It is very important that we understand both how we listen, as well as who is speaking to us in order to become more efficient listeners.
There are many different types of listening skills these days. We have to understand how listening works, in order to improve our listening skills and to be a more effective listener. We must be actively engaged when listening, so that we can understand what is being said. We have to make sure that we listen to verbal and non-verbal communication, in order to get the full spectrum of what is being communicated to us. Here are some common listening types: active, inactive, total and partial. Of these four, active and total are the most used and successful. Listening is not easy for some people, but is a skill that people can learn. There is specific self-observation practices people can use, in order to begin to improve their listening skills.

FINAL PAPER 3

“Listening in a way that demonstrates interest and encourages continued speaking. (Many types of listening, 2012). Listening from the point of view of the speaker is active listening. This means we listen, interpret and rephrase to ensure that we understand what is being said. As noted by Liz Bryant (2009), the goal of a good listener is “to be present, to be interested, to have time, to have respect" (Bryant, 2009). Having good body language such as sitting up straight or leaning in towards the speaker, constitutes active listening. Nodding your head and communicating with “yes” or “I understand”, lets the speaker know that you acknowledge them, and shows that you are part of the conversation. "We were given two ears but only one mouth, because listening is twice as hard as talking." (Larry Nadig, 2010). Sometimes, we try to formulate our thoughts and responses before the speaker is finished. This type of listening can lead to the listener missing important information, and not being active in the conversation. At this point, the listener would be disengaged with the conversation after the initial point has been said. “The listener hears the words, but little or no communication is taking place” (Jennerich, 2005). “Listening to understand. Seeking meaning” (Many types of listening, 2012). Listening to the person who is speaking, means that you are putting yourself in their shoes. It is not just understanding the meaning of the words, but actively participating in the actual discussion. Not only should we be focused, but we should fully listen to what the speaker is saying, and understand the speaker, their background and their experiences. As Suzanne Hudd writes, “Real listening requires one to walk in the steps of another for a bit of time” (Hudd, 2008). When we
FINAL PAPER 4 can fully listen, and understand what the speaker is saying, it means that we are very active, and that listening requires the listener to be completely engaged. Because of this, it is probably the most effective form of listening and takes time to learn. “Listening most of the time but also spending some time day-dreaming or thinking of a response” (Many types of listening, 2012). Partial listeners are better than inactive listeners, as at least some of the content is being heard. Partial listeners can be easily distracted; they are either trying to calculate a response, or they have their head in the clouds, and are thinking of something else. Partial listeners will focus on other people, or other things in the room, while someone else is speaking. “This can be problematic when the other person has moved on and we are unable to pick up the threads of what is being said” (Many types of listening, 2012).
In a professional organization setting, there are many types of speakers. As employees, we must understand who is speaking, in order to receive the messages they are trying to send to us. Understanding what type of speaker they are will help us understand if we need to just listen, or if we need to collaborate with them in order to solve the issue. In a professional organization, we should make sure that we are communicating with our supervisors, other employees, and customers.
Most successful companies listen to their customers. This allows them to be an effective company. The customer is the best source of information on whether or not a company is being successful. Customers can also be one of the best sources of information, on how to improve a

FINAL PAPER 5 certain things within the business. Customers often give feedback and advice on how a business can be improved. This can be either with a product or an internal business improvement. Businesses who act on these improvements can increase sales, making the business more successful. “Listening to customers can tell us a great deal about the competition” (Hamilton, 2011). Customers sometimes compare companies with other companies when giving feedback. This gives a company better intelligence on how their competition is managing customer service. As with anything that will help the business, we should encourage the comparisons, as it will help us to determine the best business strategy. To be a successful business, we need to listen to our customers and provide our own feedback. We should also always encourage an open, and trusting relationship with our customers. Customers who trust a company and its products are more likely to be repeat customers. This is true, as I have a particular store that I use for auto accessories, and I stick with it. They have great customer service, and always have what I need in stock. As a repeat customer, I promote the company to whomever I can, so that it will bring them new business. “Listen carefully not only to what [customers] say, but how they say it because that gives us the most important clues as to the effects we are having on our customers” (Do You Use Customer Feedback To Improve Your Business, 2012). “Listening to employees is a way of showing support, which….increases employee satisfaction and productivity” (Hamilton, 2011). When we listen effectively we understand what the person is thinking and/or feeling from the other person’s own perspective. The employees are the ones who are keeping your company running. Give them praise when they do a good job. They are the ones who are working on the front lines; working directly with equipment or customers. If there is a question about any of the equipment, you should look towards the
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employees, as they would be the experts on the subject matter. They are working daily with equipment, and would give you the best possible answer. Employees, who work with certain equipment, can make suggestions, on how to make improvements to equipment, or a process that can lead to be more effective and efficient. Supervisors, who want the best for the business, should highlight and try the suggestions. If they are successful, the business will improve. This will also help to motivate the employees in to doing a better job. Even if the suggestion is passed over, supervisors should still give credit for an employee making a suggestion. This shows that you are listening to your employees and taking the time to acknowledge their thoughts. Managers and leaders should encourage employee feedback. Employees want to know that they are needed, and should show a sense of ownership and entitlement by suggesting solutions to certain issues, rather than complaining about them. An active listener will respond to the employee’s complaints, and ask what their suggestions would be to resolve the issue. This allows for an active collaborative effort by the team members. Mary Lorenz (2012) states “Because they work closely with customers, your employees have a much closer pulse on customer needs. Thus, they’re likely to have suggestions for how to improve certain aspects of the business, services or products to meet these needs” (Lorenz, 2012).
Employees need to listen to supervisors for instruction, and guidance. They also need to be ready for constructive criticism. It is important to remain relaxed and calm, and to maintain eye contact with the employee. They need to understand what is being said when listening to a supervisor. Often, the supervisor gives specific instructions on how to perform certain tasks, and
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an employee needs to understand what is being said in order to be successful. It is also important for an employee to understand how a supervisor delivers their message. You can only imagine if they were trying to deliver a message, said it the wrong way, and it ended up being bad news. Knowing how to use verbal and non-verbal communication is the key. You need to look for what will help an employee to better prepare themselves for the news that is being delivered. Giving constructive criticism is one part of a supervisor’s message. This is especially helpful during the employee’s annual review. It is very important that an employee go into the review with an open mind, and the willingness to accept the criticism and ideas for improvement. Hamilton (2011) states ““Effective listening can help you improve your relationship with your boss by helping you understand the boss’ expectations and frame of reference” (Hamilton, 2011).
If you listen to your fellow coworkers, it will allow for a collaborative working environment, and will help to develop trust in the workplace. In a global company, technology can help to improve communication (Hamilton, 2011). Using instant messaging is a way to communicate immediately. I personally have used this method to contact other employees’ in the workplace, and have had great success getting the answers I need fast. It is an effective way to have a conversation without having to meet face to face or if speaking on the phone is not possible. Hamilton (2011) lists a number of tips that can help to promote effective coworker listening in a global organization.
Humor in the workplace is a great morale booster. It can be effective, but you must be respectful of others, and how you approach cultural differences. Tolerate ambiguity and be open
FINAL PAPER 8 to fellow employees differing viewpoints. Explain your ideas clearly, and concisely when peers have few shared experiences. Some employees are shy and may not want to share, but you should encourage them to do so. This may help with their self-confidence, and bring a more cohesive workplace. Show that you are listening by responding to emails as soon as possible. This will let others know that you do care, and that you will be prompt in getting back to them. Showing an interest in other’s ideas, and adding personal comments, help bring the company’s employees closer. Last but not least, you should concentrate on information gathering, rather than persuasion. Use us rather than me to promote teamwork (Hamilton, 2011).
Effective listening starts with understanding your listening type. If you are an inactive or partial listener, you should work towards being a more active listener. If you are an active listener, understanding what is being said comes more easily, and you are able to participate in an open conversation with the speaker. A full time listener not only participates in the discussion, but understands the subject matter. In a professional organization, you should not only listen to the speaker, but understand when the right time to give feedback is. You should use the information for improvement, and or discuss it with the other people in the organization. Listening can be an effective tool at all levels of an organization. Listening to customers will encourage the customers to return. It will also give them the trust that they will come to respect.

FINAL PAPER 9
Conclusion
Word of mouth is big, and when you have a company that is trustworthy, people will talk. Listening to your employees encourages loyalty and job satisfaction. Employees will have a better work ethic and will come to respect those they work with. Coworkers who listen to each other, promotes a better work environment and allows for better teamwork. By using the effective skills you have learned, and by being open and attentive to the speaker, you are showing that you are an effective listener. A good listener is someone who can gather good information, and allows you to build personal relationships with your co-workers and customers. It is suggested that effective listening is more strongly related to social interactions linked to a specific context than to more general traits or disposition.

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References:
Bryant, L. (2009, March 27). The Art of Active Listening. Practice Nurse, 37(6), 49-52. Do You Use Customer Feedback To Improve Your Business. (2012, March 12). Retrieved from Digital Spark Marketing: http://www.digitalsparkmarketing.com/2012/03/12/deriving-value-from-listening-to-your-customers/
Hamilton, C. (2011). Communicating for Results: A Guide for Business and the Professions (9 ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
Hudd, S. S. (2008). Listening. Encounter, 21(3), 43-46. Retrieved from Keyser, John. In: T+D. July, 2013, Vol. 67 Issue 7, p26, 3 p.; American Society for Training & Development, Inc. Keyser, John. In: T+D. July, 2013, Vol. 67 Issue 7, p26, 3 p.; American Society for Training &
Jennerich, E. (2005). Infopeople Workshop - Customer-Friendly Is More Than an Attitude.
Lorenz, M. (2012, February 6). Employee Feedback: Are You Really Listening? Retrieved from
Many types of listening. (2012). Retrieved from Changing Minds.org:
By: Schnell, Jim. 1995 7 pp. (ED379691) international Journal of Listening. 2003, Vol. 17, p32-46. 15p.
http://www.drnadig.com/listening.htm…...

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