If you have been looking for information and advice that can help you become a good listener then you found the right place. Today we are going to briefly cover one of the four types of “barriers” that seem to come in the way of listening to others. And if controlled, then these barriers will no longer present a problem with being a good listener.
First lets discuss what a listening barrier is and what types exist. Like emotional and mental filters, there are physical and mental distractions or barriers that impair your ability to listen effectively. These barriers are not filters. They are not part of the brain that decides what input to use. Rather, they are simply items that get in the way of your ability to listen in the first place.
With emotional and mental filters, you happen to listen selectively. With physical barriers, you are typically trying to listen effectively but there are physical distractions that are stopping the flow. In most cases however, barriers can be controlled so that you may practice a better, more active listening habit.
Today we are going to cover one form of an external barrier. It is called the “physical” barrier. Physical barriers are barriers that distance you from the speaker or block in some way your vision from being able to watch or actively listen to the speaker.
For example, if you are attending a company keynote speaker convention, but are sitting way in the back of the room, you will find it very difficult to actively listen, even if the microphone and speaker system is loud enough. The reason why you will have a difficult time truly listening to the speaker, is because the physical barrier is the distance and the other people attending, and this makes it hard for you to read the speaker’s body language.
Another example of a physical barrier would be a desk between you and the other person speaking. Psychologically speaking, the desk immediately sends a message that the person behind the desk is guarded in his or her communication. In addition, it also makes reading nonverbal communication a lot more difficult.
Here is another form of an external barrier when it comes to communication: lack of eye contact. Although some speakers prefer to communicate with dark shades on or lack of eye contact, then these physical barriers prevent the listener from having the full benefit of active listening.