Listening is an important aspect of successful communication. A good listener exhibits certain characteristics and behaviors that help them achieve success in terms of building connection with others. Some of these characteristics/behaviors include paying attention, providing positive encouragement to the speaker, and providing appropriate feedback. For instance, a good listener knows how to focus on the speaker and the message because he/she knows that distractions will affect the process of communication. Likewise, a good listener knows how to give positive encouragement whenever he/she feels that the speaker is having difficulties in getting the message across. Moreover, a good listener provides appropriate feedback, like facial expressions or gestures, to show whether the message is being understood clearly or to show whether any further clarification is needed.
Now, one of the most positive listening behaviors that I have, as identified from the assessment, is my ability to avoid distractions. This is true because every time I have to listen to someone else, I make sure that I’m not doing or thinking about other things. This way, any miscommunication will be avoided. It saves my time and energy as well as the speaker’s.
On the other hand, I almost always fail to consider the point of view of others, which is a poor listening behavior. This results to personal biases. Whenever I hear information or opinion that is against mine, it’s always a challenge for me to understand or accept it because I only see things from my own perspective.
Therefore, in order to improve my poor listening behavior, I plan to practice listening with an open mind. The most important thing is that when I listen, I will try to consider the speaker’s point of view and understand where his ideas and opinions are coming from. It doesn’t mean that I will always have to accept or agree with the speaker. However, by developing this listening behavior, I will be able to assess the message fairly and rationally.