What are the major barriers to listening that I should consciously try to overcome?

Taking steps to be a better listener

Effective listening doesn’t just happen. It takes some work and diligence to improve. Here are some of the most common barriers to effective listening from the point of view of the listener. You can begin to consciously address these in your everyday interactions.

  • Being and remaining preoccupied and not listening.
  • Being so interested (and focused on your own desire to speak) in what you have to say that you listen mainly to find an opening to get the floor.
  • Formulating and listening (preparing your argument) to your own rebuttal to what the speaker is saying.
  • Listening to your own personal beliefs about what is being said.
  • Evaluating and making judgments about the speaker or the message.
  • Not asking for clarification when you know that you do not understand.


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