Know what it takes to be an active listener and make good use of your Communications degree.
Students in a Communications degree program or Masters in Communication are prepared to become the best speakers, writers, editors, advertisers, marketers, broadcasters or communications specialists. University courses and curriculum are designed to build a student’s self confidence when delivering a speech, writing a press release or giving an interview. They will be trained in developing a communication skill that is often overlooked – listening.
A good communicator is someone who listens in order to understand what needs to be communicated. The ability to listen allows you to more appropriately interpret, evaluate and analyze what has been said. Active listening results to productive communication, which in turn could result to amicable settlements, satisfied customers or improved relationships.
People have a natural tendency to talk before listening. It seems that the innate desire to be heard is stronger than the desire to hear. For this reason, judgments are made before weighing the evidence and conclusions are reached without examining the facts.
People are often not listening attentively. They would look you in the eye and even nod their heads as though agreeing to what you are saying, but silently they are thinking about what to say next or how to respond to what you are saying even before you finish. They may intend to listen, but the natural tendency not to listen almost always wins.
Active listening means understanding what is being said, retaining what was said, and responding appropriately. Understanding or comprehension is achieved when meanings are shared between parties during the communication process. The inability of the receiver to listen or understand may also be the fault of the speaker.
A good speaker encourages proper understanding by using intelligent yet easy-to-understand words and symbols. The English language is so rich that a speaker has one or two words to choose from when conveying a message. Speaker and receiver must share similar understanding of the language, language rules and words being used in the communication process.
In some cases, a speaker may intentionally use difficult words to sway or confuse the receiver. Words, intonations, gestures and non-verbal cues may be employed to trick a receiver into a deliberate false understanding of a message. It is the task then of the receiver to listen more actively in order to better understand what is said or what is not said explicitly.
The next element to effective listening is retaining. Your feedback, response and subsequent course of action are determined by what you retain or remember. Mindful listening results to better retention of a message.
Finally, producing or receiving the most appropriate response is the ultimate proof of successful communications. The best responses come in the form of changed lives, closed business deals, satisfied customers, informed people, persuaded governments, and happy love ones. What you can do with a communications degree is muster all that you have learned in the university to achieve the best responses you desire.
A Communications degree makes you a better listener. It can not only propel you to a satisfying career as a communicator, but also help you build better relationships. As you learn to actively listen, you make people around you feel better.