Can We Listen? Important Aspects Of Active Listening

We explain some communication problems that destroy our ability to empathize.

A study confirms that most people are unable to actively listen to their interlocutor for more than 3 minutes at a time. On the other hand, various surveys reveal that approximately 50% of the Spanish population feels lonely.

It is inevitable to think that there is a parallel between feelings of loneliness and isolation and a society that has not learned to listen.

Is hearing the same as listening?

The first thing to do is make the difference between hearing and listening r. While hearing simply means receiving information through our auditory channels, listening implies intentionality. It involves an effort to attend to what the other person tells us, in an attempt to create effective and empathetic communication.

What difficulties prevent us from listening actively?

Do we know how to listen carefully to our interlocutor?  There are several reasons that can interfere and detract from the process of  active listening. Some of them are as follows.

1. Inability to tolerate silence

Most people feel uncomfortable when there is silence in a conversation, especially when facing strangers. That is why while the interlocutor speaks they think about what they are going to say next, decreasing their attention to the information transmitted in the speaker so as not to be left with nothing to say immediately.

2. Trials and comparisons

In many cases what makes listening difficult is a series of judgments that are emitted in the thought that have nothing to do with what the speaker tries to expose (I like his shirt, the green color does not fit him, it seems that he has gained weight , short hair looks better than me, etc.)

3. Focus of attention

It consists of focusing attention only on one aspect of the conversation and thinking about it, ignoring the rest of the information that the speaker emits.

4. Have “mind elsewhere”

This is one of the most common interferences. While the interlocutor speaks, the person begins to remember an event that happened the other day, to plan dinner that night or to think about the  job interview they have the next day, paying little or no attention to what the other person is saying. account.

5. Be waiting to please

This happens especially in insecure people. They focus on thinking if their posture is correct, if they are smiling enough, if the answers they are giving are the ideal ones, etc. Losing attention span and therefore quality of listening.

6. Continuous interruptions

There are certain people who for various reasons need to continually speak and be the center of attention in a conversation. That is why they continually interrupt the speaker’s speech, providing data from their own personal experience, bringing the conversation to their ground so that they can talk about themselves or give advice.

7. Environmental distractions

Surely we have all felt the frustration of wanting to talk to someone who is constantly looking at their cell phone, television or computer screen. Environmental distractions make listening very difficult, as attention is divided towards several different stimuli.

Active listening to communicate better

Therefore, if we want to learn to listen actively, we must strive to reduce all these inferences and develop our attention span in the here and now.

Create a climate of respect where we understand that what the other person has to tell us is important, and therefore deserves that we put our five senses into it, just as we would like the people who listen to us to do.

Listen, you will be wise. The beginning of wisdom is silence ”—Pitágoras

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