Listening involves several factors that may inhibit effective listening. Furthermore, just like any other communication process, listening should also manifest strategies and types of listening that will enable a person to listen effectively. There is an apparent difference between listening and hearing. Listening involves comprehension while hearing tend to be more passive and not conducive to effective communication.
For this task, an observation of the characters from a clip in the movie “The Devil Wears Prada” will be observed to identify steps and obstacles in effective listening. The scene is when Andrea (Anne Hathaway) is talking to Miranda (Meryl Streep) during the job interview. In the scene, Andrea presents herself in the job interview and talks about her competencies for the job of becoming Miranda’s assistant. While Andrea is talking, Miranda appears to be not paying attention because she is also browsing through the newspaper at that moment. Apparently, when Andrea stated her personal strengths as an employee, Miranda stopped with what she is doing and gave Andrea a quick attention. Miranda also threw a few questions to Andrea, which Andrea responded appropriately except for one question.
In a listening process, the example of attending can be seen from Miranda’s gaze at Andrea while she is stating her points of personal strength. Interpreting on the other hand may seem weaker on the part of Andrea because when Miranda commented Andrea does not have a sense of fashion, Andrea responded with “it depends on what” and she was interrupted by Miranda saying it is not a question, but rather an opinion based from what she heard from Andrea when asked if she reads the magazine or know Miranda in the fashion industry. From that moment Andrea has failed to interpret the comments from Miranda and responded differently and that Miranda is actually paying attention although she is doing something else. However, the entire listening process seemed to have occurred during the conversation because the results of the job interview went in favor of Andrea.
The only obstacle that can be seen from the conversation is the lack of physical attention and interest that Miranda is showing to Andrea while she is presenting herself. In a normal conversation, if one person is engaged in a conversation and appeared distracted due to the other activities transpiring at the moment, the other party might think that the other person is not paying attention. Despite the obstacle, the conversation came to a conclusion because Miranda still decided to hire Andrea, therefore, the obstacles was resolved by means of Miranda throwing questions back to Andrea in order to substantiate her assumptions that Andrea is indeed unfamiliar with the fashion industry. However, Andrea redeemed herself by stating her personal strengths, which after Miranda heard of it gave the decision to hire Andrea.
McLean, S. (2012). Listening and Critical Thinking. The basics of communication studies (2nd ed., pp. 109-131). Boston: Pearson.