Everybody, everyday passes on information. This is called communication. When successful communication occurs it means that all parties have received the correct message and it has been understood. If it were this simple then every communication would be successful. There are many ways in which we communicate, both verbally and non verbally and unfortunately with every type of communication, there are barriers and obstacles that cause it to fail.
For those lucky enough to be blessed with the gift of speech it is easy enough to send a message. Communication, however, does not occur until the message has been heard. Listening is best described as attempting to hear something. Small children are told to listen, adults are told they do not listen and loved ones are asked if they are being listened to. Listening successfully involves hard work and effort. There are many barriers and common mistakes made that cause this important act of communication to fail.
To successfully listen means that you hear what is being said as well as understanding what has not been said. There are many reasons why this form of communication often fails. According to Covey (2004) our listening often fails because of the many levels of listening. You can completely ignore the noise you hear, you can hear but not listen to the message, you can pretend to listen, nodding appropriately, you can hear only what you want to hear and add your own slant to the message and you can listen to only the words, missing all the other non verbal clues.
There are five stages to listening. Devito (2007) states that these stages are “receiving, understanding, remembering, evaluating and responding”. When people speak they make noise. Noise is a vibration of the air. Very basically, when these vibrations enter your ear canal, your ear drum and other parts of your inner ear turn the vibrations into the noise we hear. Unless a person is hearing impaired they are able to hear this noise...