Listening is an essential part of interpersonal communication at the workplace, and it is often considered one of the most important forms of communication behavior. Employees' spend almost half their day listening to their interlocutors,... more
Listening is an essential part of interpersonal communication at the workplace, and it is often considered one of the most important forms of communication behavior. Employees' spend almost half their day listening to their interlocutors, such as their managers, colleagues, or their customers. However, despite listening' prevalence, most people, and most of the time, listen poorly, even though practitioners continually point out its importance to individuals and organizations. Moreover, listening has received relatively little attention in the field of organizational behavior (in both journals and textbooks). The poor state of listening is curious because as early as 1952, Carl Rogers, one of the noted fathers of modern clinical psychology, pointed out the huge potential of good listening to solve a multitude of organizational problems including poor leadership and management. Listening, according to Rogers, restores inner communication among parts of the self of the speaker, and as a result creates a more balanced person that operates more peacefully in the world. However, although Rogers' theoretical arguments received much attention in clinical psychology, they have yet to receive attention nor been systematically implemented in organizations. In this work, we discuss the Listening Circle paradigm, which was developed independently of the Rogerian tradition, as an intervention to improve employees' listening abilities. Furthermore, we hypothesized, based on Rogers' theory, that participating in the Listening Circle, and thus experiencing good listening, will reduce employees' levels of social anxiety, and thereby will make their work-related attitudes more balanced and less extreme. An empirical study supported our hypotheses.
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