Although communication always was a key component for relationships in our society, nowadays it is a backbone for business development.
Listening is one of the significant elements of great working relationships; however, some employees still ignore it because of diversity, competition, and the drive for quality, and ethical factors.
Thus, it leads to misunderstandings and even conflicts between colleagues, there are some recommendations for successful conversation, such as listening to the main idea, letting a speaker finish before beginning to talk, and giving full attention to the speaker.
Competition and the Drive for Quality
Competition and the drive for quality is the first-factor influencing communication. Successful communication demands not only listening but also judging and responding. Correspondingly, the participant of conversation should not interrupt the speaker with compliance or statements not belonging to the central theme. In other words, there is a factor uniting listening and communication elements that “could be defined as the process of interaction, interpretation, and response. It should include items such as sensitivity, tolerance, attention, empathy, and morale” (Brunner, 2008, p.79). Nevertheless, there are some helpful techniques to improve the situation: concentrating on the speech, letting the speaker finish before beginning to talk, and thinking before speaking. These uncomplicated procedures will provide the possibility not only to listen – but to respond quickly and clearly, be involved in a brainstorm and team meetings.
The second factor which affects effective listening is diversity. Meanwhile, the quantity of multicultural companies arises, the problem of difference – or in other words – diversity appears. It has both: positive and negative effects on workgroup functioning. On the one hand, it leads to creativity and flexibility, non-standard approaches for issue resolving ( Hofhuis, Rijt & Vlug, 2016, p. 2). On the other hand, there are some cultural norms about appropriate behavior, verbal, and nonverbal communication, which could be misunderstood by the others.
Finally, the last factor is in charge of responsible thinking, respectful communication, and relationships development despite all the aspects. Nowadays, companies implement principles of ethical communication to erase the difficulties in understanding, keeping the perceptions of equality and inclusion between colleagues, and wealthy collaboration (Isotalus, & Kakkuri-Knuuttila, 2018, p.456). Disrespect of other people, their cultural and personal peculiarities and thoughts, and interrupting colleagues speech leads to ineffective communication and unhealthy team environment.
Fortunately, there are some recommendations for situations, when some factors affect effective listening and conversation. Notwithstanding the trend of founding the intercultural companies, employees may misunderstand each other not because of their cultural differences, but because of their job specialization, technical words, jargon, and inner meaning of these terms. Therefore, a person should pay attention to statements with the beginning as “My point is…”, – they are indicators to the main point of the speaker’s thoughts. Thus, a listener could perceive his colleague, and their dialogue would be productive. In the era of digitalization, there are some other approaches to show disregard or rudeness. It could be achieved by not listening or not keeping attention to a speaker during usage mobile phone for entertainment. Thus, to be a good listener, a person should give his full attention to a speaker. It helps to avoid ethical problems and remain a civilized man.
Even though listening consists of hearing, understanding, and judging, and it requires a lot of effort, it is an essential element of successful communication. It forms healthy relationships between employees and serves for business development. If an employee listens to main ideas, lets a speaker finish before beginning to talk, and gives his full attention to the speaker, the one avoids the factors affecting effective listening.
Brunner, B. R. (2008). Listening, communication & trust: Practitioners’ perspectives of business/organizational relationships. International Journal of Listening, 73–82. doi: 10.1080/10904010701808482
Hofhuis, J., Rijt , P. G. A., & Vlug , M. (2016, June 14). Diversity climate enhances work outcomes through trust and openness in workgroup communication. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s40064-016-2499-4.
Isotalus, E., & Kakkuri-Knuuttila, M.-L. (2018). Ethics and intercultural communication in diversity management. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 37(5), 450–469. doi: 10.1108/edi-01-2017-0019