According to Burley-Allen (1995), various barriers affect a committed listener and external barriers are quite vital to tackle when one desires to remain a dedicated listener consistently. External distractions entail the barriers from the environment which compete and curtail my attention when engaging in active listening. This week reading provides great insight on how to eradicate distractions and enhance my concentration on what am being told.
I have always had the challenge of developing comprehensive listening skills because I tend to give divided attention, especially in a busy environment. I have come to learn that to overcome this challenge; I need to eliminate my listening biases and acquire a range of skills which would facilitate the process of active listening. Burley-Allan (1995) posit that listening is a skill to be learned and the first stage is to discover that effective listening is an active process and not a passive one.
When I talk to people, I always get distracted when my phone, beeps due to notification and rings due to an incoming call. It affects my capacity to become a devoted listener because I usually stop and check my phone to receive and determine the caller. In so doing, I always miss quite a lot of message from people especially my peers. My computer is also a source of distraction when I hear a sound of an email or when my peers talk to me while I watch a video clip I find it hard sometimes to listen actively to the speaker and understand fully unless I quit watching. Moreover, I find good clothing quite attractive, mainly good shoes are always a type of my distraction from committing to active listening.
Displaying God's wisdom in every aspect of the conversation is essential in developing a positive attitude and encouraging others to utilize proper communication avenues as well as build beneficial relationships. Stewart (2012) elaborates how interpersonal communication skills can be acquired and use to grow and sustain daily relationships. I would like to grow in God's wisdom, and for that reason, I have developed an interest in developing active, empathetic listening through focus and reflection.
My strengths are inclusive of but not limited to self-reliant, ability to utilize symbols body cues and a rational approach to decision-making. As such, I can enlarge the elements of a conversation while I put much concentration on being open-minded and conveying detailed information. Regardless of capturing almost all information conveyed to me even when distracted by external factors, I always tend to ask a lot of questions in an attempt to own a conversation.
As per my behavioral blend, I consider myself a unique person who works hard, likes to talk and persuade others, peaceful and quite analytical in responding to my peers. However, some of them are my undoing such as being too inquisitive and questioning others a lot. This sometimes curtails the process of communication and makes it lack a systematic feature. In an attempt to promote dialogues and solve conflicting ideas, I will continue to work on my external barrier to effective communication.
Burley-Allen, M. (1995). Listening: The forgotten skill: A self-teaching guide (2nd ed.). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Stewart, J. (2012). Bridges not walls: A book about interpersonal communication (11th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
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