Listening is a quite different concept than what is usually perceived by most people. Most of us think that listening is the counterpart to speaking but in fact, it is not always true as listening is not just about hearing but also constantly observing the expressions of other people to whom we are talking to. This way all the verbal and non-verbal cues are part of the listening process. This also includes constantly understanding the words that we speak and then respond accordingly. To further elaborate on the characteristics of listening, it is important to differentiate it from hearing which is just the ability of someone to receive verbal cues when people speak. Consider for example, when someone says, “do you hear me?”, he is indeed asking us “do u listen to me”. This is how we can differentiate the listening and hearing.
Another significant example of what listening is to consider how deaf people can understand other people by just reading facial expressions. And they are very good at this, although they are unable to hear. So, attentiveness and focus on the verbal and nonverbal signals that we receive through our senses while we are talking to others are the integral components of listening. Therefore, Brunfaut & Révész (2014) stated that listening is an interactive process that involves linguistic, neurological, pragmatic and semantic processing. However, it is also important to understand how to listen ethical so that we can show respect to speakers (Lumenlearning, 2021). Therefore, I always try to actively interpret shared material and analyze the effectiveness of the speakers by listening to my whole body. Moreover, l think that listening with creative and critical mindset is also ethically important so we can provide effective feedback to the speakers.
Brunfaut, T., & Révész, A. (2014). The Role of Task and Listener Characteristics in Second Language Listening. TESOL Quarterly, 49(1), 141–168. https://doi.org/10.1002/tesq.168
Lumenlearning. (2021). Ethical Listening | Principles of Public Speaking. Lumenlearning.com. https://courses.lumenlearning.com/publicspeakingprinciples/chapter/chapter-3-ethical-listening/