Essay Writer Sample:
There are many times in the professional world where an individual will be listening to some form or another of a presentation. During this time, these individuals will be tasked with taking in the information that is being spoken to them. However, there is an inherent difference between the individuals in the meeting who are actively listening to what is being said and those people who are merely hearing the words that are being spoken. After all, listening is an active process that requires and compartmentalization of ideas so that a person can maintain an interest in the conversation.
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Active listening is a skill that is important in every workplace and there are a variety of reasons that this is the case. Still, it is important to define active listening so that the benefits in the workplace are even more apparent than they would be otherwise. Active listening involves intently listening for the most part, but also involves showing the person who is speaking that they are paying attention by using feedback throughout the presentation (Sullivan, 2011). There are many benefits to utilizing active listening throughout one’s workplace. The first and most obvious benefit is that the listener will be able to follow along with the information that is being given to them so that they can put it to use within the workplace. Another, more benefit, use of active listening in the workplace is that it will prepare a person to ask questions so as to seek clarification about any topics about which they are unsure.
Still, it is also important to keep in mind that there are many ways that active listening can be demonstrated throughout a workplace. One example of active listening is maintaining eye contact with the presenter or the speaker. This will allow the listener to home in on the physical idiosyncrasies of the speaker to give cues about their speaking style and how best to listen to them (Sullivan, 2011). For example, if they are apt to give pauses, that might be a good time for the active listener to ask questions. Another example of the uses of active listening in the work environment would be engaging the speaker through non-verbal signs of agreement such as nodding, smiling, or even using verbal cues such as “yes” for confirmation on an idea. There are also other techniques available such as summing up the topic of discussion and repeating it back to the speaker to show that you took away the most important information from the interaction.
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There are other ideas about how to maintain a proper climate of behavior within a given workplace. Two of the more frequently-used means of dividing and contextualizing the workplaces is through the supportive and the defensive work climates. The first one of these to explore would be the supportive work environment. By most accounts, this form of work environment is the one that is designed to be more helpful in allowing a person to see faults and improve upon them without harsh criticism. As the name suggest, this work climate is supportive of its workers.
The Supportive Climate has several hallmarks that make it unique. This comes in the form of six different aspects of a supportive climate which includes description, problem orientation, spontaneity, empathy, equality, and provisionalism. One of the areas that gives the greatest insight into the supportive climate is description: a process by which a certain behavior is contextualized by an individual such as saying “I was surprised that you were upset with the customer” (Cheesebro et al., 2010). Also, the idea of a problem orientation is one that is rooted in the supportive climate and occurs when there is some form of problem occurring in that work environment. Rather than placing the onus on the other person to change, the supportive climate fosters the idea that if one person has a problem, then it should be broached and talked about with all members who are involved so as to work out a solution that will offer the greatest
benefits to all parties (Cheesebro et al., 2010). An example of the supportive work climate in action would be two people disagreeing over who would work holidays, and the workers deciding to recognize that they have a problem and agreeing to each work alternating holidays out of sheer fairness. This improves the worker relationship and maintains a modicum of fairness for all.
The other form of work climate is called the Defensive Climate and is more notable because it involves situations in which the work environment could be inherently negative. As a result of the work environment, or in support of a negative work environment, an individual partakes in actions that are designed for self-preservation more than for group advancement. Like the supportive climate, this work environment has six domains that are often destroy work relationships such as evaluation, control, strategy, neutrality, superiority, and certainty (Cheesebro et al., 2010).
In keeping with identifying some of the more prominent examples of defensive work climate behaviors, it is prudent to examine evaluation. Evaluation is a process by which a person criticizes or judges another person in a negative way such as by saying “you are not doing that all wrong” or “you don’t know how to listen”. This involves actively judging an individual which can be seen as negative, but can also benefit the work environment through honesty and providing criticism of one’s behaviors.
An example of the implementation of a defensive climate in a work environment could be seen where a leader, manager, or boss communicates from a position of superiority, where they are looking down on the workers. This can lead to workers feeling inadequate or having low morale, but it does clearly enforce the chain of command (Cheesebro et al., 2010).
Cheesebro, T., O’Connor, L., & Rios, F. (2010). Communicating in the workplace. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall.
Sullivan, A. O. (2011). The Importance of Effective Listening Skills: Implications for the Workplace and Dealing with Difficult People. Retrieved from: digitalcommons.usm.maine.edu