Sometimes it’s hard to listen. You may feel like your co-workers just keep going on and on. It can be exhausting.
Listening effectively is hard work. The heart rate quickens, respiration increases, and your body temperature rises. Just like a stress response, it can be physically and psychologically draining.
The process of listening involves a sequence of 6 exhausting stages:
• Motivation – The listener must create the motivation and desire to listen, which is tough when you believe you’ve heard it all before.
• Stimulus – As a listener, you receive not only auditory stimuli, but also visual stimuli. It’s what you hear and see.
• Attending – The listener concentrates on the message received in order to store it for later use, focusing on what the information relates to.
• Interpreting – The listener considers the verbal and nonverbal messages and analyzes the message for the proper meaning.
• Responding – After a message has been interpreted by the listener, he/she must responder to it in some way. Even no response is still a response.
• Remembering – The ability to recall the information by having a system and a process that helps you retain and to also be able to explain the information later.
Yes, there are 6 exhausting stages of listening. You are right to think that listening is tiring. If you focus on improving your performance in each of these stages of listening and become just a little more effective in each stage, you will move from being an adequate listener to becoming an active listener.
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