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Listening Skills: Term Definition

The skills of active listening and asking questions is an integral part of people’s persuasion skills. Most people do not always listen carefully to each other, even if they are talking about interesting or important for them issues. Furthermore, many believe that the ability to listen effectively comes down to not interrupting, nodding affirmatively, and being able to repeat what an interlocutor said. However, such misunderstandings and poor listening skills can lead to conflict situations and other problems in both personal and professional life.

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In the past at work, I witnessed a conflict situation arising from the poor listening of the employee A. The company planned to expand its activities in some areas, and the management announced these changes at a general meeting of employees. In order to implement it, it was necessary to hire several new employees and duplicate some positions. After some time, an intern was accepted into the company whom employee A was supposed to help adapt and detail his duties. Due to poor listening skills demonstrated at the meeting, employee A was unsure whether the direction in which he worked was expanding. A did not want to train a new intern and help him, as he was afraid that the newbie would take his place over time. The manager noticed the problem and once again explained to employee A about the expansion of the company, and thus, the conflict was resolved.

The emergence of this situation indicates the pseudo listening of employee A at the meeting. Several possible reasons for this can be distinguished – a distraction to own thoughts or the phone, lack of interest in the company’s affairs, fatigue, and others. Thus, he did not listen and did not analyze the information that he received. Although, thanks to the observation and timely actions of the manager, it was possible to avoid an escalation of the conflict, negative consequences still arose. As a result, employee A reduced his credibility among colleagues and did not adequately present the company to the potential new worker.

Taking into consideration the objectives of the work meetings, Employee A needed to apply skills of informational listening. According to Goodnight and Dunn (2016), an obstacle to this type of listening may also be the message’s overload. Many important questions were discussed at the meeting, and it was easy to miss some aspects among them. Nevertheless, A needed to listen carefully and critically, evaluate information, organize it, and allocate the essential part of it for himself. Moreover, it was necessary to ask questions, for example, whether the company’s expansion would affect A’s activity. If he considered the question inappropriate at the meeting, he needed to ask for a clarification afterwards. I believe that mutual understanding and communication between employees is vital for the development of any company and its success.

Thus, it is generally recognized that listening skills and their application in the appropriate moment are essential for productive communication and the development of successful relationships in personal and professional life. Analyzing the situation of which I was a witness, we can conclude that poor listening negatively affects not only a particular person but also their environment. A good listener does not just take the necessary information for himself but demonstrates that the efforts of an interlocutor are not in vain and are important. Such skills require hard work on them but are extremely necessary and, therefore, are completely worth it.


Goodnight, L. J., &Dunn, D. M. (2016). Communication: Embracing difference. Taylor & Francis.

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