The Art of Effective Communication: Avoid These 3 Bad Listening Habits

Writing 101

An important part of effective communication is to be a good listener. You should be able to analyze and interpret messages accurately, else it can result in breakdown of communication, leaving the sender annoyed and frustrated.

When do people stop being good listeners?

Bad listener

When they are fatigued. Tiredness can make one lose focus and the mind becomes more concerned with getting a good nap.

When they are overwhelmed by boredom. If the speech is dry and dreary then your mind tends to wander off in another tangent.

When there are too many internal and external distractions. Do you feel the need to attend the call of nature but the circumstances force you not to? Did you receive a distress family call but it’s not possible to leave at that instant?

What are some bad listening habits you should avoid?




This happens when you only go through the motions of listening. It looks like you’re listening but your mind is somewhere else.

To avoid this, de-clutter your mind. Keep your phone switched off. Focus on the topic and person at hand

Self-centered listening

Self centered

Sometimes, you start rehearsing your own response while a person is still speaking. This can also result in miscommunication. It is always better to let the other person complete and then start framing your answer.

 Selective listening

Selective listening

At times, you listen to only selective parts of a speech that directly concern you. For example, you might only pay attention to a meeting when your name or your department’s name is called out. This kind of selective listening results in you missing the entire message and probably some relevant context. To become an effective communicator, always be attentive and listen to the complete thing. You might pick up some important info.


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