15 Faults in your Listening Skill

15 Common Faults in your Listening SkillResearch studies show that our listening efficiency is no better than 25 to 30 percent to capacity.

That means a considerable size of information is lost in the listening process.

Why? Some reasons follow;

Prejudice Against the Speaker

At times we have conflict in our mind as to the speaker. Whatever he speaks seems to be colored and we practically don’t listen to what he says.


Your whole attention is on designing and preparing your next comment.

You look interested, but your mind is going a mile a minute because you are thinking about what to say next.

Some people rehearse whole chains of responses: I’ll say, then he’ll say, and so on.

Judging Negatively

Labeling people can be extremely limiting. If you prejudge somebody as incompetent or uninformed, you don’t pay much attention to what that person says.

A basic rule of listening is that judgments should only be made after you have heard and evaluated the content of the message.


When using this block, you take everything people tell you and refer it back to your own experience.

They want to tell you about a toothache, but that reminds you of your oral surgery for receding gums. You launch into your story before they can finish theirs.


You are the great problem solver. You don’t have to hear more than a few sentences before you begin searching for the right advice.

However, while you are coming up with suggestions and convincing someone to just try it, you may miss what is most important.


This block has you arguing and debating with people who never feel heard because you are so quick to disagree.

In fact, your main focus is on finding things to disagree with.

Being Right

Being right means you will go to great lengths (twist the facts, start shouting, make excuses or accusations, call up past sins) to -avoid being wrong.

You can’t listen to criticism, you can’t be corrected, and you can’t take suggestions to change.


This listening block involves suddenly changing the subject.

You derail the train of a conversation when you get uncomfortable or bored with a topic. Another way of derailing is by joking.


Right. . . Absolutely. . . I know. . . Of course, you are. . .Incredible … Really? You want to be nice, pleasant, supportive. You want people to like you. So you agree with everything.


When we dream, we pretend to listen but really tune the other person out while we drift about in our interior fantasies.

Instead of disciplining ourselves to truly concentrate on the input, we turn the channel into a more entertaining subject.

Thinking Speed

Most of us speak between 60 to 180 words per minute, and people have the capacity to think at the rate of 500 to 800 words per Minute. The difference leaves us with a great deal of mental spare time.

While it is possible to use this time to explore the speaker’s ideas, we most often let our mind wander to other matters – from the unfinished business just mentioned to romantic fantasies.

Premature Evaluation

It often happens that we interrupt the speakers before they complete their thought, or finish their sentence, or state their conclusions.

Directly as a result of our rapid thinking speed, we race ahead of what we feel is the conclusion. We anticipate. We arrive at the concluding thought quickly although often that is quite different from what the speaker intended.

Semantic Stereotypes

A certain kind of people bothers us, so too do certain words. When these words are repeated time and again, they cause annoyance in the mind and effective listening is impaired.


A monotonous delivery by the speaker can put listeners to sleep or cause them to lose interest.

External Distractions

The entire physical environment affects listening.

Among the negative factors are noisy fans, poor or glaring lights, distracting background music, overheated or cold rooms, a conversation going on nearby, and so on.

So, do have these problems? Then your Listening Skill needs work.

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