5 Reasons For Poor Listening are explained in this article. We hope you find the information herein helpful and satisfactory.
Reasons For Poor Listening in Communication
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1. The listeners’ needs, wants, desires and interests
Listening starts as a physiological process but quickly stops as a physiological aspect of attending. Attending involves an unconscious process of focusing on what was heard.
The listeners’ needs, wants, desires and interests often determine what is attended to. For example, if a person is hungry, he is more likely to attend to the message about restaurants in the neighborhood than another person who is not feeling that need.
Thus, for several reasons, it is impossible to listen all the time. Listening effectively is hard work. It takes a great deal of effort to give full attention to any speaker.
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When one listens to a speaker the heart rate quickens, respiration increases, and body temperature rises. These changes are similar to the body’s reaction to real physical effort.
2. Message overload
The next reason for poor listening is caused by what could be referred to as ‘message overload’. The amount of speech a person encounters every day makes careful listening to everything we hear impossible.
3. Physiologically hearing problems
This is interesting to know that about one-third of the time we stay awake is spent listening to verbal messages, business people, and total strangers.
It simply shows that we spend five hours or more a day listening to various types of people. As a result of the pressure on the listener from various sources, he has toilet his attention wander at times.
Thus, for physiological reasons, listening carefully is made difficult. It has been estimated that we are capable of understanding speech at rates up to 300 words per minute.
The average person speaks between one hundred and one hundred (100) and forty (140) per minute. So, the listener has a good deal of mental spare time to spend while someone is speaking.
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Whether or not the listener uses this spare time in ways that relate to the speaker’s ideas, is another matter. Such spare time may be used for daydreaming, thinking about personal interests, or thinking about all sorts of unrelated issues.
Sometimes the listener is wrapped up in personal matters which are of more immediate importance to him than the messages the speaker is sending.
Thus a psychological noise may set in to disrupt the listener’s attention. It will be difficult for a person to listen attentively to a speaker when he is anticipating an upcoming examination, yet he still has to appear to listen politely to the speaker.
The person’s listening ability may be affected by physiological hearing problems. Hearing loss can be undetected and untreated. In such a case the person with the defect and even the speaker can become frustrated at the ineffective communication which results.
4. False assumption
Another reason for poor listening includes a false assumption. For instance, when the subject sounds familiar, the listener may think that he had heard it before when in fact the speaker is actually giving fresh information.
Related to this is the take people often make is assuming that the subject is unimportant and then stop paying attention when they ought to be listening very carefully.
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5. Traffic noise, wild music, and other people’s speeches
Besides, this, we live in a world that presents various distractions which make it rather difficult to pay attention to others. Heavy traffic noise, wild music, and other people’s speech compete to interfere with our efforts to listen attentively.