Vocalizations are not an entirely immersive medium of communication. The give-and-take in conversation is frequently riddled with preconceived ideas that cause two different tracks of data to be transmitted. At any given point, there are many roles at play. Let us take a two-person conversation.
There is an instigator of the verbal conversation. There is typically acknowledgment and response from the other party (verbal or non-verbal). The conversation begins with a given tone, scenario indicating the social constraints that the conversation is going to follow, setting (quiet, loud, in public, in private), incoming understandings of the competency of the other person, understandings of the social prowess of the other person. Power plays an important role in conversation. One of the most trying ways in which power is exhibited is through the use of listening.
Determining listeners is a potent way to determine the relationship occurring, as represented by the sample of communications had with another individual. When we are trying to understanding the restraints, formalities, pleasantness, and hierarchical relationship through our conversations with another person, one of the biggest indicators can be the way in which the other person is displaying the act of listening.
Learning to listen means engaging particular methods. These methods include: repeating what the other person says back in different words (in so, acknowledging that one has understood the vocalization); refraining from thinking about what one is going to say next while the other person is speaking; referring back to points made by the other party later during the conversation; and using body language to indicate full attentiveness (nodding, leaning forward). Listeners display a learned ability that speaks volumes to their ability to engage in mutually beneficial discourse.
Individuals trying to exercise power over the other person that they are conversing with may use some of the following methods: repeatedly interrupting while the other person is talking; neglecting to acknowledge what the other party has just stated and continuing the conversation on their own accord (this results in the conversation sounding disjointed); stating something exactly as the other person said earlier in the conversation without acknowledging the origination of the thought.
While power can be exercised during conversation, the willingness of the other party to continue the relationship is what the actual relationship hinges on. When people cannot or will not learn to listen effectively and be a full participant in a two-person conversation, the other party may choose to refrain from engaging in further conversations with the domineering party.
Determining listeners is surely an excellent way to choose whom to frequently interact with. Far more kind and compassionate communications can occur between parties who are fully present as listeners in a conversation.
Power through conversation is not new; and paying close attention to the other party’s method in which they interact during the conversation can say a lot about their regard for the relationship.