Strengths That I Possess As a Listener
One of the strengths that I have as a listener is being attentive (Beebe & Beebe, 2003). This is important as listening requires one to be attentive and this can be enhanced by asking questions during conversations. This indicates that the listener is keenly following the conversation (Beebe & Beebe, 2003). I always respect the other people’s ideas even though some may not agree with my opinions. This strength helps me to connect with other individuals as this indicates that I am interested in the conversation (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003).
A second strength that I have as a listener is not speaking all the time during a conversation and give the other person humble time to air his/her opinions (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003). Without clearly listening, one cannot be able to understand and respond accurately on the discussion (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003). For one to have a better understanding and knowledge about the discussion, he/she must first listen carefully, dissect and process the information before giving a response. A good listener should listen more and speak less (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003). Every speaker must possess this quality.
The third strength that I possess as a listener is observing body language of other individuals (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003). The body language is as important as the verbal communication. The body language reflects and compliments the verbal communication (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003). A good listener should be able to understand body language and what it means as this might give a different understanding than the verbal communication. Body language can help for speakers especially in discussions associated with complex topics (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003).
Weaknesses That I Possess As a Listener
Besides the strengths that I have as listener, I also have some weaknesses, which include not maintaining eye contact throughout a conversation (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003). Maintaining eye contact is very important and can increase the participation and engagement of participants in a discussion. Eye contact is also important in the communication process as it can communicate other information about the other person, which may include emotions or interest in certain information (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003).
A second weakness that I possess as a listener is being distracted, as I am not good at multitasking (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003). Some of the distractions include cell phones and interactions from outside. These distractions can interfere in the listening process with the diverted attention going to the distractions (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003). These distractions can also increase the conversation process as the speaker may engage the other person in trying to understand information that he/she might have been distracted and did not understand clearly (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003).
The third weakness that I possess as a listener is that I focus more on communicating information on my perspective than giving opinions based on the other person’s perspective (Beebe & Beebe, 2003). This will negatively affect the audience if the speaker does not address the issues based on the audience’s perspective. A good listener must create a balance between him/her and the audience and aim at solving any issues while being considerate as the situations may be different from what the speaker may have experienced (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003).
Overcoming the Weaknesses
Overcoming the weakness of not maintaining eye contact can be done through learning about eye contact as a communication skill (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003). Eye contact is a mode of communication and can be integrated and developed as a communication skill. Eye contact can be established at the start of conversations to familiarize with the other person and should be practiced at every conversation to become part of a conversation (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003).
The weakness regarding distractions can be addressed by getting rid of distractions and other barriers that may interfere with communication (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003). This may include eliminating cell phones and conducting conversations on quiet and serene environments with minimal distractions (Beebe ; Beebe, 2003). The weakness of not considering the other person’s perspective can be addressed by having a diverse thought process and finding solutions at all angles some, which may not even be familiar to me. This can also be addressed by having expertise advice on handling complex situations (Beebe & Beebe, 2003).
Beebe, S. A., & Beebe, S. J. (2003). Public speaking: An audience-centered approach. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.