Bad listening habits

One of the best traits a person might have is being able to listen to what another person says. People like talking about themselves and, thus, the one who can listen to you is priceless. The reason this skill (or trait?) is so much appreciated is that very few people can really do that. In this article, I would like to share my understanding of bad listening habits that interfere in good communication.
Ready? Let’s start!

Showing no interest

If you started talking to a person, why on Earth don’t you listen to them? I believe that’s the worst thing you could do while talking to another person. It is important for everyone to be listened to and to be heard! What is more, even when you listen to a person, you need to show that. I mean, people from ex-soviet countries are used to listen to another person silently or just nod (as a sign that you’re still listening or that you agree with what the person says). Most people, whose first language is English, use ‘active listening’, they add some linkers, backchannels and exclamations, such as: yeah, that’s true, uhu, exactly, really, wow, yes etc.

Interrupting your interlocutor

Another bad listening habit is not letting the other person bring his/her idea to a close. Frankly speaking, that’s the habit I have myself and my husband is actively fighting with it. It is not only impolite but also very annoying to be interrupted. Moreover, it doesn’t give the other person the feeling of fulfilment once he/she has completed his thought. You may add your points to the subject once the speaking partner has stopped or you can signalise him/her with gestures, showing that you have something to add.

Listening, but not hearing

You pretend to be listening to a person, but your thoughts are somewhere far away. The problem may arise when the interlocutor asks you some questions according to what they’ve told you previously. Funny thing is that both teachers and students have a tendency to listen without hearing. The thing that you can do is admit it and once you started listening to a person, try to be in control of your thoughts and hear.

Correcting your partner in conversation

It is extremely annoying to have your slips corrected while you’re speaking! It doesn’t matter in what language you’re communicating and what your role is (whether you’re a student or a teacher, a parent or a child, a friend or a colleague). In case it is THAT IMPORTANT, just wait for the time the speaker finishes and then correct them.

Listening too attentively

So that you take the other person’s feelings too close and start being anxious yourself. I have already fallen for it: my friend told me about her argument with boyfriend, I was worried and was thinking about it and chewing it over for a long time. Should I mention that after talking with me they made it up? Of course, it is important to be in control of thoughts and listen to a person as attentively as possible, but it is also vital not to take everything personally.

Why is it important for a teacher?

The role of teachers is to guide the students to fluent communication. We help them analyze the conversations we’re listening to at the lessons, and we strive to facilitate their further real-life communication. Teachers act as a role model, we are the first interlocutor our students deal with, that’s is why it is essential not to have bad listening habits ourselves.Listening does not only promote the mutual exchange of information and ideas, as well as an understanding of feelings; it is also the basis for fruitful communication. In its turn, the inability to listen and bad listening habits lead to failure of communication. 

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