Hello, readers today I am going to discuss with you all, about listening. Many of us misunderstand the word listening and hearing as one and the same… But my dear reader there is a vast difference between both these words and in their functions as well.
Listening is not as same as hearing
Hearing refers to the sounds that you hear, whereas listening requires more than that: it requires focus. Listening means paying attention not only to the vocals, but how it is told, the use of language and voice, and how the other person uses his or her body. In other words, it means being aware of both verbal and non-verbal messages. Your ability to listen effectively depends on the degree to which you perceive and understand those messages.
When there is a conversation there is a purpose. Whether the person is hearing or listening. If listening whether he or she is listening to understand or listening to respond. So one way to conclude is that listening is hearing, understanding, using logic and values to make sense and then respond.
Listening is important because we listen for information, to comprehend, to help and to evaluate. When we listen effectively, we learn more; we improve our relationships and become successful on the job. Becoming a more effective listener is an interesting and exciting process.
Listening is the conscious processing of the auditory stimuli that have been perceived through hearing. Listening differs from obeying.
Hearing is a physiological phenomenon; Listening is a psychological act.
Hearing is always occurring, most of the time subconsciously but listening is the interpretative action taken by the listener in order to understand and potentially make meaning out of the sound waves. Listening can be understood on three levels: alerting, deciphering, and an understanding of how the sound is produced and how the sound affects the listener.
Alerting, the first level, does nothing to distinguish human from animal. At the alerting level, one merely picks up on certain environmental sound cues. This is best explained using the example of one’s home. One’s home, for instance, has certain sounds associated with it that make it familiar and comfortable. An intrusion sound (e.g. a squeaking door or floorboard, a breaking window) alerts the dweller of the home to the potential danger.
In a metaphorical way, Deciphering, the second level, is to listening what digestion is to eating. An example of this level is that of a child waiting for the sound of his mother’s return home. In this scenario the child is waiting to pick up on sound cues (e.g. jingling keys, the turn of the doorknob, etc.) that will mark his mother’s approach.
Understanding, the third level of listening, means knowing how what one says will affect another. This sort of listening is important in psychoanalysis. Barthes states that the psychoanalyst must turn off their judgment while listening to the analyst and in order to communicate with their patient’s unconscious in an unbiased fashion.
However, in contrast to the distinct levels of listening listed above, it must be understood that they all function within the same plane, and sometimes all at once. Specifically the second and third levels, which overlap vastly, can be intertwined in that obtaining, understanding and deriving meaning are part of the same process. In that the child, upon hearing the doorknob turn (obtaining), can almost automatically assume that someone is at the door (deriving meaning).
Lastly, I want to say talking comes normally to people, but listening is an art. For the simple reason, that it requires immense patience. You instantly develop better relations by listening because the other person believes that someone actually wants to hear them out. Plus it feels good not to be consumed by your own endless chatter. I stopped speaking more than I should have and it changed my life for the better in ways uncountable!
( International Trainer, Motivator & Coach
Edexcel Level – 4 Btec Professional Award ( UK)
ITOL Diploma in Coaching Excellence (UK) )