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Please give a response to the 2 discussions by tomorrow 8/11

The main question was: n a 250-300  word response, answer the following question: Do you believe most people are poor listeners or good listeners? What can organizations do to improve listening skills of employees? How can you improve your personal listening skills?

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#1-Benedicto

Do you believe most people are poor listeners or good listeners?

I believe most people have it in them to be good listeners.  Whenever, I speak in front of my team or in front of different groups, I continuously scan the crowd visibly taking in all the non-verbal cues from the audience.  I can notice immediately who is and who is not listening.  According to Schilling, when those who are listening face the speaker, maintain eye contact, and are attentive, this informs the speaker they are paying attention (2012). Another way I test if people are listening is to ask someone to repeat in their own words the important point I just finished explaining.  A majority of the time, the employee, who answers this question, is usually spot on.    

What can organizations do to improve listening skills of employees?

Proper listening is an acquired skill which takes a lot of practice.  It is not something with which we are born with.  One way to improve the listening skills of your employees is to have them attend a short seminar on proper listening skills. This way, the entire staff will be on the same page when it comes to listening.  Immediately after the seminar, it is up to their immediate manager to motivate his employees to continue their education by applying it in their everyday life both personal and professional.  At the same time, those who attended the seminar need to actively remind and motivate one another to continuously apply their newfound skills every day.  As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect”, and the more you use your newfound listening skills, the faster you can become a better listener.  I know when my team and I attended one of these seminars; my team would joke with one another if the person listening did not demonstrate the correct non-verbal cues like making eye contact or be attentive.  It was funny and embarrassing to be pointed out, but at the same time it drove the point home to the employee who was caught lacking the proper non-verbal cues and was not actively listening.    

How can you improve your personal listening skills?

I can improve my personal listening skills by practicing active listening and strive to be a level one listener.  A level one listener is a person who maintains an open mind and pays attention respectfully by maintaining eye contact, sitting or standing attentively, and without an expression signaling disregard, boredom, or overt disapproval (Baack, 2012).  I need to make sure every time I am speaking with anyone, I listen to the words and try to picture what the speaker is saying, and at the same time, I should not interrupt or impose my solutions to the speaker (Schilling, 2012).  Through constant practice of these key elements, I believe I will be able to enhance my personal listening skills.

Baack, D. (2012). Management communication [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://ashford.content.edu

Shilling, D. (2012, November).  10 Steps to Effective Listening.  Forbes.  Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/womensmedia/2012/11/09/10-steps-to-effective-listening/#cf7282138918

#2-Yesenia

With today technology, I would consider it to be the number one distraction for someone to lose focus and not listen.  People are now on high alert when that alert sounds off from a cell phone or email and loses focus immediately.  It can be very disrespectful especially if it’s a serious conversation. “Two elements that reduce the ability to listen carefully are external distraction and internal distraction” (Baack, 2012).   Aside from technology other internal and external distractions is having a discussion in an open space, someone walking near you catches your attention, a bad morning disagreement, hunger or feeling tired can add to these distractions.

Organization need to assist their employees with closed off quiet room for communication, instead of open cubicle spaces.  Gives it more privacy and more of a one on one setting.  Giving classes in or outside the office with a focus on listening skills.  Lastly keeping it personal When it comes to meetings and keeping cell phones off or muted.

I do have to agree I have ways of tuning people out, when I know they are talking about something not important, but I listen to say I am a good listener.  To improve my listening skill, I need to have a huge focus on attending skills, especially with eliminating barriers.  Within recent events I have eliminated barrier and It has benefited me to stay focus on the person talking to me.  This includes placing my phone on mute, turning off the screen on my pc and not paying attention to the security cameras in my office.  This will give my team that attention they deserve, but this can also assist in your own personal life too. 

Reference:         

Baack Donald. (2012) Management Communication. Retrieved from  https://content.ashford.edu/books/AUBUS600. Section 6.2

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