Aspects of Effective Listening in Group Communication

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  • 0:03 Group Communications
  • 1:52 Benefits of Effective…
  • 2:17 Tips for Effective Listening
  • 2:57 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kat Kadian-Baumeyer

Kat has a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management and teaches Business courses.

In group settings like business meetings, active listening is an important part of the communication process. Effective listening involves showing genuine interest in the thoughts and opinions of others.

Group Communications

Most of us participate in group activities on a daily basis. Many of us work in team environments, participate in work meetings, or participate in social activities with groups of friends, parenting groups, school groups, and even our family constitutes a group. Getting things done as a group can be challenging. Asking a group of people to work together and agree on something can sometimes seem impossible. Developing effective listening techniques can be critical to group communications.

Imagine a group of workers have come together in order to update their company's banking and cash handling procedures. Store managers, accounts receivable, human resources, and the security and operations teams all have parts to play in this discussion.

The store managers need the processes to be fast and efficient so they spend minimal time handling money and banking processes. Accounts receivables needs the processes to be accurate so there are no errors in the deposits. Human resources worries about employee safety when it comes to handling cash and transporting deposits, and security and operations worries about employee safety as well as theft. Each of these points of view must be heard. But there is a difference between being heard and listening.

Hearing is involuntary and uncontrollable. If you have a working set of ears, you cannot help but hear sounds swirling all around you. Listening, on the other hand, is the ability to receive and decode messages. Effective listening is about actively listening to the group members. This means decoding messages as well as observing body language like position of arms, facial expressions, and gestures.

Active listening tells the speaker that you are interested in what they have to say. By showing the speaker that you are involved, it improves relationships and increases communication effectiveness, which can increase team productivity and cohesiveness.

Benefits of Effective Listening

When a team comes together and works on effective listening techniques, they are able to accomplish great things together. Some of the benefits of effective listening in a group setting include:

  • All team members feel heard
  • Development of trust and respect among team members
  • Ability to clarify meaning and understand one another
  • Opportunities to learn from one another
  • Ability to accomplish goals together

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