ESSAY: Effective Communication

One of the most important communication skills is listening, and ironically, it is the skill that most people are least likely to have. In this discussion post, define effective listening and explain five inhibitors of good listening. Also, complete the Listening Skills Assessment in Chapter 11, (p. 162, Figure 11.5) and from your results, discuss an area of listening you would like to improve and why.

From teacher:
Here is a funny video about effective listening. Hope you enjoy 🙂


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Effective Communication

Listening is an essential skill in a conversation of any nature. A careful listener will be able to understand as well as read the message of other people. Furthermore, effective listening skills are associated with better relationships in places of work and may also influence how people respond to each other’s ideas and opinions.

Definition of Effective Listening

Effective listening can be defined as the ability to receive the message, decode it appropriately, and finally discern its full meaning. This implies that the listener must be in a position to understand what the speaker says and fully pay attention to the topic of discussion. It may also entail providing the speaker with feedback by asking questions to prove to the speaker that the message is being understood (Macnamara, 2018).

Inhibitors of Effective Listening

There are several hindrances to effective listening in any communication process. The first hindrance is a lack of concentration. In many instances, the person for which the message of communication is intended may outrightly show a lack of interest and hence opts not to concentrate. Another inhibitor has interruptions especially from external issues (Omar, 2017). For instance, during an online video call, background noise can make it hard for a person to listen effectively. Another hindrance is having preconceived ideas where the listener lacks interest in the conversation due to personal perceptions about the topic of discussion. For instance, cases of bias due to gender, race, age, or any factor. Thinking ahead is also a hindrance as it quickly leads to presumptions and misjudgments (Zenger & Folkman, 2016). Lastly, tuning out, which involves stealing glances at watches during a conversation, is another common hindrance to listening.

Listening Skills Assessment

When in a group of people, do you talk more than you listen?  
When talking with someone, do you frequently interrupt before he/she completes a statement?  
In conversation, do you tune out and think ahead to your responses?  
In a typical conversation, can you paraphrase what the speaker has said and repeat it?  
When talking, do you frequently state your opinion before the other parties have made their case?  
Do you continue doing other tasks when someone is talking with you?  
Do you ask for clarification when you don’t understand what has been said  
Do you frequently tune out and daydream during meetings?  
Do you fidget and sneak glances during meetings?  
Do you find yourself finishing statements for people who don’t move the conversation along with fast enough?  

An area of listening I would improve and why

The area of listening that I need to improve is tuning out and thinking ahead. This is because it probably makes me lose the real meaning of a conversation by making personal conclusions about the conversation, which may be wrong.


Macnamara, J. (2018). Toward a theory and practice of organizational listening. International Journal of Listening32(1), 1-23.

Omar, N. (2017). Methods of discovering effective listening skills in direct selling actual conversations. Advanced Science Letters23(1), 267-271.

Zenger, J., & Folkman, J. (2016). What great listeners actually do. Harvard Business Review14.

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