7 Barriers to Break Through to Listen Effectively

In the business world, if you want to be a good leader, you also have to be a good listener. Listening is crucial to fair leadership because it allows employees to engage with you and to feel like a valuable part of the team. Here are some listening barriers to cut through to be an effective listener.

1. Self-Protective Listening

In self-protective listening, you will see more negativity coming from the listener. Instead of listening to questions or alternative interpretations of an experience, the listener will double down on the negative experience. Now, also, in every retelling of the experience, the emotional intensity will pick up.

2. Evaluative Listening

In evaluative listening, the person will only evaluate what the other has to say through his or her perspective. A selective perspective will cause someone to miss critical information and counter what the other said each time.

3. Judgmental Listening

In this case, the listener is going to criticize everything that the other person says or does. This person will only disagree with everything that the person says. Unfortunately, the one doing the talking will eventually tire of the criticism and give up on the conversation.

4. Assumptive Listening

This is one of the most common types of poor listening. This is when the listener will assume that he or she already knows what the person will want. They will assume the goal of the conversation before it begins.

5. Affirmative Listening

An affirmative listener cares most about whether or not the person speaking agrees with him or her. They will not listen to or explore a different point of view. The purpose for this listener is to seek validation and acknowledgment.

6. Authoritative Listening

The authoritative listener has to be right. This listener may imply that others cannot complete a task and will try to tell others what they should do. A listener like this has to be in control. Do not mistake authoritative listening with leadership qualities.

7. Defensive Listening

In this type of listening, the person takes everything as a personal attack. The person may justify or defend everything that they say. In behaving this way, the person cannot explore or understand different perspectives.

Effective listening is a crucial leadership quality. Without it, employees may feel as though their input does not matter. You can wind up isolating others and stalling the growth of your business because you don’t explore other ideas.

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