“ We have two ears and only one tongue in order
that we may hear more and speak less”
“You do not listen with just your ears: You listen
with your eyes and with your sense of touch, you
listen by becoming aware of the feelings and
emotions that arise within yourself because of this
contact with others, you listen with your mind,
your heart your imagination”
Listening ,the mother of all communication, is a
fundamental skill that should be learnt for
No communication process is complete without
management and leadership skill. Several
have proved that business people
spend almost 45 percent of their working
time in listening.
important for students, as they spend most
of their time listening to lectures.
Listening is a process of receiving, interpreting, and
reacting to a message received from the speaker.
There are four stages in the listening process.
They are Sensing, Encoding, Evaluation and Response.
Sensing: The listener hears sounds and does focus on them
Encoding: The listener decodes or interprets the message.
Evaluation: The listener evaluates the message.
Response: The listener responds.
HEARING AND LISTENING
• HEARING: Hearing is primarily a physical act that
depends on the ears. Hearing is merely the
vibration of sound waves on the ear drums
followed by the firing of electro-chemical chemical
impulses in the brain. Unless there is a physical
disability or problems such as noise or distance ,it
• LISTENING: Listening is an active process and
Listening requires voluntary attention and it is
much more conscious activity. It requires the
conscious involvement of the listener to
acknowledge, to understand and to respond. Here
the listener has to hear, analyze, judge , respond
TYPES OF LISTENING:
• APPRECIATIVE LISTENING:
• The main purpose of appreciative listening i is to
get enjoyment and pleasure, as we do when we
listen to songs, entertaining stories, jokes and
some interesting anecdotes.
• EMPATHETIC LISTENING:
• When we listen to a distressed or disappointed
friend who wants to vent his feelings, we provide
emotional and moral support in the form of
careful listening. For example when the
doctor/Psychiatrist listens to the patients
• ATTENTIVE/ COMPREHENSIVE LISTENING:
• Attentive listening demands the complete
attention of the listener. It is basically active and
intelligent listening. This type of listening is
needed to the class room when students have to
listen to the lectures to understand and
comprehend the message. Here the listener
should pay attention to all parts of the message.
Examples of this type of listening class room
lectures, administrative instructions, important
telephone calls etc.
• CRITICAL LISTENING:
• When the purpose is to accept or reject the
message or to evaluate it critically, one requires
this type of listening. Listening to a sales person
before making a purchase.
• SUPERFICIAL/PASSIVE LISTENING:
• In this type of listening the listener has little
awareness of the content of what is being said
and the output in this type of listening is zero as
the listener ignores the message and does not
concentrate on the theme.
• FOCUSED/SELECTIVE LISTENING:
• Focused listening involves listening for specific
information. For example listening to railway and
• EVALUATIVE LISTENING:
• Evaluative listening involves evaluation of the
oral message or commentary and developing a
line of thought. The listener interprets and
analyses what he or she listens to in order to
understand the content. For example workshops,
seminars and structured talks.
This is the kind of listening where the
listener is entirely ignoring the message as
well as the message giver. He /She may be
pretending to listen while doing or thinking
something. The listener’s lack of
participation becomes evident through the
LISTENINMG WITH A PURPOSE:
We listen to different kinds of oral
messages for different purposes. Although
the basic purpose of listening is to receive
information from various sources, there can
be different purposes in listening.
EFFECTIVE LISTENING AND INEFFECTIVE
The listener is aware of the purpose p of listening and he/she
is motivated to listen
The listener understands the language of the speaker
The content of the oral message is understandable to the
listener because of his/her familiarity with the subject
The listener pays attention to a person’s speech and
py p p
concentrates on the theme
• As the listener concentrates he/she thinks ahead
• The listener asks questions for clarifications to
ensure that he/she has understood the subject
• The listener uses the background information to
understand the speech or lecture
• The listener interprets and analyses while
• The listener uses different methods/strategies t t for
different kinds of oral discourses
The listener is not aware of the purpose of the listening
and has no motivation to listen
The listener finds it difficult to understand the language
of the speaker
The content is not understandable and he/she is not
familiar with ht subject
The listener does not pay attention and has no
The listener does not think ahead of the speaker
The listener does not question as he /she does not
The listener does not have or does not use background
The listener does not interpret and analyze while
The listener is not able to use different
methods/strategies for different kinds of oral
BARRIERS TO LISTENING
• As listening is a complex process ,we should take
care of the barriers that may hamper/disturb the
smooth flow of oral communication. The barriers
to the listening process may occur either from the
speaker ,listener, or circumstances /situations of
communication. The following are the barriers to
• PHYSICAL BARRIERS:
• Physical distractions and disturbances can easily
disrupt the process of listening. They may be
noise, physical discomfort any sound and even
distance. We have to ensure that all channels are
free from noise during the time of
• PSYCHOLOGICAL BARRIERS:
• The most common barrier to listening is the
listener’s disturbed d state t of mind. As listening i is a
purposeful activity ,any psychological or emotional
disturbance can prove to be a barrier to effective
listening. Feelings of anger, frustration, sadness,
anxiety or fear may disturb the listening process. One
should be in a normal state of mind before one takes
part in a communicative interaction.
• LINGUISTIC BARRIERS:
• When the message is incorrectly
decoded/interpreted by the listener, it may lead
to Confusion and misunderstanding and also a
communication breakdown will definitely it occur.
For example if he/she does not understand
French properly, he/she may not understand a
lecture in French. Hence ,the speaker should use a
that the listener understands and the
speaker should avoid difficult words ,jargon,
technical terminology or unclear phrases or
idioms. When the listener does not understand
he/she should ask questions.
If the speaker and the listener belong to different
cultures and share different values ,listening could
become a difficult process. The interpretation of the
meaning can create misunderstanding during
intercultural communication due to different norms
and values. In order to avoid communication failure,
the listener has to be sensitive to this fact and try to
put himself/herself e in the other person’s s position.
Listening effectiveness largely depends on
an efficient method of listening. The
following rules may help to improve
Do not talk while listening. One can not be
a speaker and listener at the same time.
The listener should concentrate t on the
It is not enough for the listener to keep
his mouth shut while he/she is listening.
He/she has to stop thinking too. He/she
cannot listen effectively while listening.
In order to focus 100 percent on the
person on the person speaking, the
listener should avoid all kinds of
In order to focus 100 percent on the
person’s speech, the listener should
avoid all kinds of distractions.
DON’T ALLOW YOUR MIND WANDER
One of the main causes of listening
inefficiency is the slowness of speech. We
can listen faster than the speaker can
speak. This lag time may make the
listener’s mind wander or daydream. This
can be avoided by concentrating on each
word spoken by the speaker.
• A conducive environment should be
provided to the speaker in order to
enable him/her to be at ease. If the
speaker is not comfortable ,he/she will
not be able to speak clearly.
• DO NOT PRE-JUDGE
• Give the speaker a chance to complete
what he/she has to say. Pre-judgment
closes the mind and does not allow you
to understand. You can make proper
judgment only after you have fully
understand the information.
• BE PATIENT
• The speaker should be allowed
sufficient time and not interrupted
.Patience is the key to good listening.
Good listening demands that he/she
listens to the speaker patiently.
• DO NOT BE ANGRY
• The listener should control his/her
temper while listening. He/she may not
like what the speaker is telling, or may
completely disagree. But good listening
demands d calm listening i without t
BE IN THE SPEAKER’S POSITION
In order to understand the speaker’s
perspective properly, the listener should
try to put him/her in the speaker’s
EVALUATE THE SPEECH , NOT THE
Evaluate the speech but not the speaker.
Don’t pay too much attention on the
accessories and dress of the speaker.
BE OPEN MINDED
In order to be a good listener, you
should be open minded.
• DON’T INTERRUPT TOO OFTEN
• While listening even if you don’t
understand properly, don’t interrupt in
the middle of the speech.
• ASK QUESTIONS AT THE END
• Ask your doubts and seek clarifications
at the end of the session.
• TAKE NOTES
• The listener should take notes if he/she
wants to keep a record of what was
said, and wants to use it at a larger
• Active listening demands
concentration, ti involvement and
responsibility. In order to become an
active listener, we have to adopt a
set of continuous listening practices.
So his widowed mother brought him
When he finished his school final
exams, he thought he would take up
a simple summer job during the
It was partly to earn some pocket money
and partly to get rid of boredom.
So he went to the local grocery shop run
by a Marwadi.
And asked if he could work as a delivery
The Marwadi wanted to test if the boy
He asked: "Kiran
Kiran, what would you do if
you got one lakh rupees?"
Completely taken aback, Kiran replied:
"Oh! I didn’t expect such a big salary at