Factors that Influence Effective Listening

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Research studies indicate that effective listeners, who habitually practice active listening, are almost always successful. Effective listening is a skill that few of us have. An effective listener is an active listener who is open and receptive to what is being said; he makes every effort to absorb the entire package of content without being opinionated or judgmental.

Precise, interesting and well-articulated content is the core element that can influence effective listening, be it in the social or public sector.  An effective speaker almost always triggers effective listening from the listeners. He captures the listener’s attention with his words, well-modulated tone, his striking mannerisms and the valuable knowledge he provides.

Here are three vital factors that influence effective listening:

~ Factor #1- Know your listener’s interest

Effective listening takes place when the listener is interested in what you are saying. It is therefore vital for the speaker to know what his listener is looking for. If you are socializing at a party, you would want to make sure that your conversation revolves around topics which your listeners would be interested in. For example, you may be a topmost businessman, but if your listener happens to be a sportsman and is simply not interested in your expertise, then you simply would fail to hold your listener’s attention.

The key here would be to get to know your listeners and find a mutual ground for eliciting interest; only then can your communication be effective. The same principle could be applied to someone engaged in public speaking.

Factor #2- Create a good impression

A speaker who creates a good impression has the potential to influence effective listening. Such a person is neatly dressed, manifests a pleasing personality, is self-confident and has a good command over the language he’s speaking in. The tone of his words is mellow and not harsh or screeching.

To influence effective listening, the speaker must behave respectfully and acknowledge the presence of his listeners by constantly maintaining eye-contact- - - irrespective of the number of listeners whether few in a social setting or a large audience if speaking in public. Such a person is capable of consistently holding the listener’s attention. Creating a good impression is an important factor that can influence effective listening.

Factor #3- Have a well-formulated content

Effective listening ensues when the content of the speaker’s speech is meaningful and well-formulated. Stray thoughts expressed randomly and  lack of focus while drifting away from the main topic, could fail to hold the listener’s attention. A haphazard disorganized speech can have a negative impact. The same principle would also apply while communicating in any social setting.  

Other important factors that influence effective listening include empathy, which allows the listeners to open up to the speaker. Sincerity of the speaker, is another critical factor... words spoken with passion and enthusiasm can be compelling, they can project enthusiasm in the listeners and influence them to listen actively.

~ Conclusion

Effective listening forms the backbone to your personal, professional, social and academic success. It generates mutually supportive relationships creating a strong connection between the speaker and the listener. By focusing on the above enumerated  factors, and following these precepts consistently in all your communications, you stand good chances of being  empowered to practice effective listening.

Source: Get Motivated by Peter & Tamara Lowe


More about this author: Gabby Bugwadia