5 Things That Prevent People From Listening

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Listening is the most important thing in communication. Listening is vital to our survival in life. Listening helps us make the right decisions. Sometimes, people choose what they want to hear, which has the potential to change the meaning and understanding of the conversation.

The question is, “Why are people not listening?”

Here are some reasons why people don’t listen to others:

They don’t want to take responsibility:

This happens a lot. It is very easy to blame others when things are going wrong. But the main reason as to why people blame others is to prevent or avoid taking responsibility. What they don’t understand is that if you shy away from taking responsibility, you are escaping the opportunity to grow.

Responsibilities prepare you for future challenges

They believe the other guy is responsible for the problem. This happens a lot in a toxic organization, which is organization where taking responsibility is NOT in their DNA.

Don’t blame others, take responsibility for your situation. 

Fear of Criticism:

When people don’t want others to make their valued points, they defend themselves. The reason for defending themselves is, they don’t want to be criticized.

When you find yourself in this situation, try the following strategies:

  • Don’t defend yourself.
  • Open up your mind.
  • Listen to others, you will learn more from them.

Listen to others to learn from them, not to find fault with them

Listen to learn, not to talk. A great communicator listens more than they talk. If you talk a lot, you leave out a lot.

They are not Interested in Others:

People don’t listen to others because they are not interested in what others have to say. When you listen to other people, you will learn more about the world, you will learn more about yourself, and you will learn how others think.

If you don’t know how to connect positively with others, don’t be angry, you are not alone. Find ways you can handle it.

You can reduce this problem by reaching out to people. Find out what you have in common, explore it. Also, find out what is new to you, explore and understand it. That is where knowledge and awareness are going to come from.

Your knowledge and awareness increase when you explore and understand new experiences.

Lack of Trust:

Nothing important happens without trust. Some people don’t listen to others because they are afraid that others will take advantage of them. As a result, they prefer to not listen to anyone. The problem with this strategy is: it stops the flow of knowledge from a more senior employee to their junior staff. Or the other way round. According to Stephen M.R. Covey, in his book, The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything, defined Trust as: “Trust means confidence. The opposite of trust – distrust- is suspicion. When you trust people, you have confidence in them- in their integrity and in their abilities. When you distrust people, you are suspicious of them- of their integrity, their agenda, their capabilities, or their track record.”

They Are Always Right:

Some people don’t listen to others because they believe they are always right, while others are wrong. Wrong!

“Don’t fight to be right, but fight when you are right.” – Amit Kalantri

Don’t wait to prove your point, wait to listen, learn, and to understand what’s been said. Dr. M. Scott Peck, the author of the book, The Road Less Traveled, said, “By far the most common and important way in which we can exercise our attention is by listening.” He added by saying that: “We spend enormous amount of time listening, most of which we waste, because on the whole most of us listen very poorly.