It is remarkable what a significant role the basic principles of communication can play in our life. Some people often wonder why some of their friends and colleagues are more successful in communication and often as the result in life then the others. Or, perhaps, most of us sometimes wondered why it is more pleasant to communicate with some of our friends then the others. Of cause, some would say that it depends on how much people have in common, and those would be right, but there is something extra that makes communication between people pleasant. The ability to listen is that great gift that makes people talk and feel comfortable.
Did you ever wonder why people talk and why they communicate? The truth is that when someone talks he doesn’t really care that much about the partner in communication. The person talk to hear his or her voice, and to feel the impotence of own words. So, when two people communicate the primary objective of each of them is to talk and not to listen.
Every parson surely faced the situation when the other person talks to much and is not paying any attention to our own words, or when the person contentiously interrupts. Just spare a moment and think of one or two of those people. And now, think about something who is really pleasant in communication, think about the person that listens to your words and encourages you to speak more and more, the person who really cares about what you say.
That drastic deference between those two people is so obvious that it is not even worth explaining it in details. There is another thing that is worth explaining and it is how to listen and how to use it for the mutual benefit.
As I’ve mentioned before, every person is more interested in speaking then in listening. So the primary objective of the efficient communicator is to change the position in the conversation. Instead of trying to tell you partner in conversation all what you think about current events, political situation in the country, rate of inflation or the results of last baseball match, ‘cause its rather possible that your partner is not interested in either of those things.
Instead of that, try to find out what the person is interested in and encourage the speaker to state his or her opinion on the issue. Do not hurry to express your own opinion or to tell anything at all, just encourage the speaker to tell more and direct the conversation according to your own interests since you won’t be able to really listed if you are not truly interested in what the person is saying. Think carefully and thoroughly about what you’ve heard and take every afford to understand the person’s position on this or that issue.
All of this would allow you to see the your partner in communication in different light and understand deeper his thoughts and feelings. This understanding would allow you to express your thoughts in the way that would be more understandable for the person, avoid conflicts and touchy subjects, or find the way to express on those subjects without being rejected by the listener.
Active listening (meaning encouraging and directing the conversation whichever way you want and remaining almost silent at the same time) is a very powerful tool. Mastering it you might face some obstacles and it may take some effort but in the end of the day the efforts are worth it. The quality of your communication would improve drastically and the people around you would enjoy being around and communicating with you.
However, there is one precaution. As any of the communication techniques active listening is a manipulating strategy that may be used for achieving certain results and establishing certain relationships through acting in the certain way. It means that by using active listening one can manipulate people and seem really interested in something when he isn’t or acting nice to the person in order to get some gain out of it.
The temptation to do something like that should be left without attention by the one who is implementing the strategy since it would certainly lead to the negative results. First of all, the person would not believe you any more once he or she caught you being insincere in your interest to the subject. That would create the distrust that would be hard to brake afterwards. Second, on the long term, the real essence of the person radiates through any communicational technique.
So don’t forget to listen to people, but don’t forget to be sincere when you do it.
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