Article

The Listening Circle: A Simple Tool to Enhance Listening and Reduce Extremism Among Employees

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Abstract

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.

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... Spataro and Bloch, 2018). This is despite the claim that listening quality is inherently a function of speakers' perception of how listeners made them feel (Itzchakov and Kluger, 2017;Kluger et al., 2021). ...
... We advance the notion of "being relational" in the course of conversation, a term associated with listening but whose roots in mutuality have been underspecified (e.g. Itzchakov and Kluger, 2017). Being relational involves conversation partners being sensitive to the unfolding, dynamic understanding emerging out of what is being mutually shared through conversation. ...
... As such, most individuals entering the workplace lack training and development on how to be an effective listener (Brink and Costigan, 2015). Effective listening is fuzzily defined (Itzchakov and Kluger, 2017), but can be summarized in terms of giving attention, showing understanding, and being relational (Bodie, 2012;Rogers and Roethlisberger, 1952). Attention captures the listener's ability to be present and focused on the other person and even be responsive to their needs. ...
Article
Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS) perspectives define interpersonal work experiences such as positive work relationships and high-quality connections by the mutual growth and empowerment experienced by relationship or connection partners. Listening has been implicated as a key mechanism for building such positive interpersonal work experiences, but it is unclear how listening spurs on mutual, rather than one-sided growth, in relationship and connection partners. In this paper, we argue that management education currently focuses on the intrapersonal capability of listeners to execute key verbal and non-verbal behaviors. Less emphasis is placed on the mutual experience co-created between speaker and listener and, thus, on the potential for mutual growth and empowerment. We articulate what “being relational” in the listening experience means, and use experiential learning theory to articulate how educators might create learning spaces for “being relational” through conversations between listener and speaker. Throughout the paper we contend with issues of individual and structural power asymmetries inherent in understanding listening as a relational process.
... Listening is the most important, and the most prevalent, type of oral communication (Brink and Costigan, 2015;Ramsey and Sohi, 1997). People spend on average 42-55 percent of their day on listening (Rankin, 1928;Wolvin and Coakley, 1991); workers devote at least 30 percent of their workday to listening (Itzchakov and Kluger, 2017). The recognition that listening is a critical aspect of both daily life and the workplace has led to a proliferation of research in this area (Ames et al., 2012;Lloyd et al., 2015;Milliken et al., 2003). ...
... First, rather than an individual effort, it is established through the collective effort of all team members to sense, interpret and respond to the messages conveyed within the team. Second, responses are particularly important in team listening because team listening demonstrating to team members visibly that they are being listened to, and the clearest way to that is through an action-oriented response (Itzchakov and Kluger, 2017). Action-oriented responses play a more salient role in team listening because they act as feedback mechanisms clearly saying, "I heard you and acted on what you said." ...
... In that regard, team listening provides structure and systematizes team meetings that typically are the primary venues where decisions are made, strategies are developed and performance is evaluated (Miller, 2003). Teams that engage in team action listening, go beyond surface listening, with the purpose of truly understanding the message, they also take appropriate action and openly share feedback regarding how well their actions reflect common team goals, values and norms (Itzchakov and Kluger, 2017;Quaquebeke and Felps, 2016). The sharing of feedback with the intention of understanding generates a constructive, consensus environment. ...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to expand our understanding on team listening by incorporating an action component. The authors empirically test the effect of this expanded concept, namely team action listening on team success, and investigate how team commitment moderates the relationship between team trust and team action listening. Design/methodology/approach The authors explored listening in teams in the field and in the lab, both qualitatively and quantitatively, through studying 474 team members representing 100 teams. The authors tested the hypotheses by structural equation modeling augmented with in-depth team interviews. Findings The findings showed that: teams demonstrate that they listen by taking action, teams that exhibit action listening are more successful, there is a direct relationship between team trust and team action listening and team commitment negatively moderates this relation in larger teams. Practical implications Managers should encourage taking action in team discussions. Yet, they should be wary of the detrimental effects of team commitment to team action listening particularly in teams with high trust. Commitment increases the risk of groupthink and decreases the participation to team discussions and listening. In particular, managers may benefit from keeping the team smaller, as in large teams, commitment suppresses the relationship between trust and team action listening. Originality/value This study extends research on team listening by adding the action aspect that distinguishes successful teams. It is one of the first to investigate the interrelationships between team trust, commitment, team action listening and success in teams.
... Listening is the most important, and the most prevalent, type of oral communication (Brink and Costigan, 2015;Ramsey and Sohi, 1997). People spend on average 42-55 percent of their day on listening (Rankin, 1928;Wolvin and Coakley, 1991); workers devote at least 30 percent of their workday to listening (Itzchakov and Kluger, 2017). The recognition that listening is a critical aspect of both daily life and the workplace has led to a proliferation of research in this area (Ames et al., 2012;Lloyd et al., 2015;Milliken et al., 2003). ...
... First, rather than an individual effort, it is established through the collective effort of all team members to sense, interpret and respond to the messages conveyed within the team. Second, responses are particularly important in team listening because team listening demonstrating to team members visibly that they are being listened to, and the clearest way to that is through an action-oriented response (Itzchakov and Kluger, 2017). Action-oriented responses play a more salient role in team listening because they act as feedback mechanisms clearly saying, "I heard you and acted on what you said." ...
... In that regard, team listening provides structure and systematizes team meetings that typically are the primary venues where decisions are made, strategies are developed and performance is evaluated (Miller, 2003). Teams that engage in team action listening, go beyond surface listening, with the purpose of truly understanding the message, they also take appropriate action and openly share feedback regarding how well their actions reflect common team goals, values and norms (Itzchakov and Kluger, 2017;Quaquebeke and Felps, 2016). The sharing of feedback with the intention of understanding generates a constructive, consensus environment. ...
... Colleagues are a significant source of social influence on individuals and provide social and emotional resources to one another when they listen (Itzchakov & Kluger, 2017a, 2017b. These resources (along with the supervisor) impact employees' ability to regulate emotions (Diefendorff & Richard, 2003). ...
... The listening training course consisted of four 3 h sessions, conducted at intervals of approximately 4 weeks. An instructor, a certified expert in the listening circle paradigm (Itzchakov & Kluger, 2017b), delivered all the sessions. The listening circle paradigm consists of a group and instructor who sit in a circle facing one another. ...
Article
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The present work focuses on listening training as an example of a relational human resource practice that can improve human resource outcomes: Relatedness to colleagues, burnout, and turnover intentions. In two quasi-field experiments, employees were assigned to either a group listening training or a control condition. Both immediately after training and three weeks later, receiving listening training was shown to be linked to higher feelings of relatedness with colleagues, lower burnout, and lower turnover intentions. These findings suggest that listening training can be harnessed as a powerful human resource management tool to cultivate stronger relationships at work. The implications for Relational Coordination Theory, High-Quality Connections Theory, and Self-Determination Theory, are discussed.
... The definition of good listening Individuals tend to have a unified perception of how they are being listened to and to evaluate the quality of the listening on a single continuum from poor to excellent (Lipetz et al., 2018). The construct of listening in an interpersonal context is multi-faceted (Worthington and Bodie, 2018b), and three main facets of good listening have been identified: attention, comprehension, and relational components (Worthington and Bodie, 2018a;Kluger et al., 2020;Itzchakov & Kluger, 2017a). Attention refers to being fully present with the speaker and avoiding internal and external distractions (Ames et al., 2012). ...
... Furthermore, and most relevant to the need to delve 'beneath the surface' in qualitative interviews (Charmaz, 2014), good listening reduces the defensiveness of speakers and consequently increases cognitive flexibility (Itzchakov & Kluger, 2017a;Itzchakov et al., 2017). Specifically, when speakers share their attitudes with a listener who demonstrates high quality listening, they report lower levels of social anxiety (i.e., apprehension from being evaluated negatively), which in turn makes them more open to alternative viewpoints about the attitudinal topic they are discussing. ...
Article
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What is ‘good’ qualitative research? Considerable literature articulates criteria for quality in qualitative research. Common to all these criteria is the understanding that the data gathering process, often interviews, is central in assessing research quality. Studies have highlighted the preparation of the interview guide, appropriate ways to ask questions, and especially the interaction between interviewer and interviewee. To a lesser extent, qualitative scholars mention the importance of the interviewer’s listening abilities in obtaining the interviewee’s cooperation. Based on results of listening studies in the fields of psychology and organizational behavior, we argue that good listening is crucial for assessing the quality of qualitative research, yet remains a blind spot in qualitative data gathering. Drawing on our experience as qualitative researcher and listening researcher, we present practices for enhancing good listening in qualitative research, thereby enabling researchers to calibrate themselves as research instruments and obtain richer data.
... Clear nonactive-listening protocols exist. They vary in their level of simplicity, from elaborate protocols, such as the feedforward interview (Bouskila-Yam & Kluger, 2011;Kluger & Nir, 2010), protocols requiring a trained facilitator, such as the listening circles or council meetings (Itzchakov & Kluger, 2017a, 2017b, to simpler protocols such as instructing listeners to ask for stories and time-sharing . Therefore, we focus on time-sharing because it is a straightforward operationalization of an oft-recommended listening behavior -being silent and not interrupting the speaker. ...
Article
Listeners who interrupt speakers upset the speakers and prevent the benefits of good listening. Interruptions can be avoided with “time-sharing,” where each partner listens (silently) for an equal amount of time. Yet, is time-sharing good for all? In an experiment with 50 pairs (95 participants with useable data), participants conversed freely for one minute and were then assigned either to a time-sharing (of three minutes each) or a free conversation condition. Consistent with our hypotheses, speakers in the time-sharing condition showed reduced social anxiety if they were high on narcissism but elevated social anxiety if high on depression, explaining past inconsistent effects of time-sharing.
... What forces prevented them from listening? The teachers also learned techniques such as the listening circle, a well-established method for enhancing listening skills (Itzchakov & Kluger, 2017a, 2017b. In this activity, the attendees sit in a circle. ...
Article
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Training teachers to listen may enable them to experience increasingly attentive and open peer relationships at work. In the present research, we examined the outcomes of a year-long listening training on school teachers' listening abilities and its downstream consequences on their relational climate, autonomy, and psychological safety. Teachers in two elementary schools engaged in a similar listening training program throughout the entire school year. The measures included indicators of a supportive relational climate that are known to be important to teacher well-being, namely, autonomy, psychological safety, and relational energy. Results of growth curve modeling showed linear increases in all three outcomes, such that more listening training corresponded to a more positive relational climate. Specifically, the teachers reported increasingly higher quality listening from their group-member teachers, felt more autonomy-satisfied, psychologically safe, and relationally energetic. Furthermore, latent growth curve modeling indicated that the teachers' listening perception was positively and significantly associated with all three outcomes. We concluded that listening training is associated with teachers perceiving higher quality listening from their peers and, therefore, feeling more autonomy satisfied, psychologically safe, and relationally energetic and discuss theoretical and practical implications. Practitioner points • 1. Training teachers to listen in a group setting helps them feel safe to express themselves openly with others at work. • 2. Listening training for teachers is essential for creating a sense of social connection with colleagues. • 3. Listening training for teachers achieved more benefits as teachers attended multiple training sessions
... This finding is consistent with previous research identifying the benefits of listening for reducing stress and its related aversive feelings such as state anxiety (Itzchakov, 2020), state social anxiety (Itzchakov et al., 2018;Itzchakov & Kluger, 2017b;Itzchakov et al., 2017), and negative affect (Lloyd, Boer, Kluger, et al., 2015). Although the magnitude of the interaction effect size, .04, is small according to (Cohen, 1988), a 30-year review of 261 interaction effects in applied psychology and management indicates that it is in the 88.90 th percentile (Aguinis et al., 2005). ...
Article
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When principals listen to their teachers, they may foster an open and receptive work environment that helps teachers adapt during stressful times. Two studies examined the role of perceived principals' listening to teachers on workplace outcomes. Study 1 (N = 218) was conducted during the first nationwide lockdown in Israel. Study 2 (N = 247) was conducted during a later lockdown and controlled for social support to test the independent effects of the two distinct interpersonal experiences. Findings supported our hypothesis that principals' listening would relate to lower teacher turnover intention. In addition, in line with our hypothesis, teachers high on perceived stress generally reported higher turnover intentions. However, the detrimental effect of perceived stress was not observed when teachers evaluated their principals as good listeners. Finally, we anticipated and found that principal listening is associated with organizational citizenship behavior. Specifically, teachers were more likely to help one another when feeling listened to by their principals.
... In a trust and openness atmosphere, listening sends a signal to the speaker that listener is engaged in continuous cognitive processing. Good listening behavior promotes the psychological security level of subordinates [17]. Individuals who are good at listening are more likely to gain the trust of others [18], establish good interpersonal relationships, and promote teamwork [19], thus helping improve work performance. ...
Article
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Background Listening is an important responsibilities of human resource managers, whether it will bring role stress to human resource managers, or lead to the risk of job burnout. This study aims to analyze the impact of listening competency on job burnout among human resource managers, and examine the mediating effect of role stress. Methods This study adopted a cross-sectional method to randomly select 500 human resource managers from China’s top ten human resource management cities to conduct an online questionnaire survey, and 232 valid samples were obtained. Descriptive statistical and one-way ANOVA were used to explore the status of job burnout among human resource managers in China. Correlation analysis, multiple linear regression and mediating effect analysis were employed to test the relationship between listening competency and job burnout, as well as the mediating effect of role stress. Results (1) 34.5% of the respondents reported mild burnout, while 3.0% respondents showed serious burnout. Emotional exhaustion was the most serious. (2) Those are good at listening could easily avoid job burnout. Among them, listening skills were conducive to reducing the degree of depersonalization of human resource managers, and empathy was more conducive to improving their personal sense of accomplishment. (3) The role stress had a significant mediating role in the relationship between listening competency and job burnout. Which means that listening competency can avoid job burnout by reducing role stress of human resource managers. Conclusions This study revealed the current situation of job burnout among human resource managers in China, and explored the influence of listening competency on job burnout. This study enriched the research content of job burnout, and provided references for preventing and intervening job burnout of human resource managers.
... Finally, although both listening and perceived responsiveness are multidimensional constructs, listening is multi-faceted in a more narrow way in that it includes a series of very specific behaviors (Itzchakov & Grau, 2020;Itzchakov & Kluger, 2017b). On the other hand, perceived responsiveness includes relatively general and abstract evaluations such as being cared for and validated by significant others (Reis, 2012). ...
Article
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Social psychologists have a longstanding interest in the mechanisms responsible for the beneficial effects of positive social connections. This paper reviews and integrates two emerging but to this point disparate lines of work that focus on these mechanisms: high-quality listening and perceived partner responsiveness. We also review research investigating the downstream consequences of high-quality listening and perceived partner responsiveness: the how and why of understanding the process by which these downstream benefits are obtained. High-quality listening and perceived responsiveness, though not isomorphic, are related constructs in that they both incorporate several key interpersonal processes such as understanding, positive regard, and expressions of caring for another person. We develop a theoretical model for representing how listening embodies one form of interactive behavior that can promote (or hinder) perceived partner responsiveness and its downstream affective, cognitive, and behavioral effects. Finally, we discuss our model’s implications for various social-psychological concerns, such as social cognition, self-evaluation, constructive disagreements, and interpersonal relationships.
... The FFI is only one technique that sheds light on the power of listening in organizations (For a comprehensive review, see Kluger & Itzchakov, in press). High-quality listening is a multifaceted construct characterized by undivided attention, comprehension, and a nonjudgmental intention from the listener toward the speaker (Itzchakov & Kluger, 2017bKluger et al., 2021). Five positive outcomes of listening as part of performance feedback include (a) reduced defensiveness (Itzchakov et al., 2017), (b) increased psychological safety (Castro et al., 2018;Castro et al., 2016), (c) openness to change , (d) voice behavior (Tangirala & Ramanujam, 2012), and (e) self-disclosure (Weinstein et al., 2021). ...
Article
Creating positive change in the direction intended is the goal of organizational interventions. Watts, Gray, and Medeiros (WGM; in press) raise this issue of “side effects,” which include changes that are unintended and often in the opposite direction of the organizational intervention. With our expertise in applied psychology, military psychiatry/neuroscience, organizational behavior, and corporate safety, we argue for three additional factors for consideration – avoiding harm, benefits of high-quality interpersonal listening, and a discussion of side effects as a natural part of the change process. We offer these as a means to extend the conversation begun by WGM.
... High-quality listening entails attention focused on the speaker (Bavelas et al., 2000;Itzchakov & Kluger, 2017b, 2019, and is conveyed in part through nonverbal behavior such as maintaining constant eye contact (Bavelas et al., 2002), direct body orientation (e.g., leaning toward the speaker, nodding), and facial expressions that convey interest. Such behaviors, also known as nonverbal immediacy, foster interpersonal connection by communicating to the speaker interpersonal warmth, closeness, and intimacy (Jones & Guerrero, 2001;Mehrabian, 1971). ...
Article
We examined how the experience of high-quality listening (attentive, empathic, and nonjudgmental) impacts speakers' basic psychological needs and state self-esteem when discussing the difficult topic of a prejudiced attitude. Specifically, we hypothesized that when speakers discuss a prejudiced attitude with high-quality listeners, they experience higher autonomy, relatedness, and self-esteem than speakers who share their prejudiced attitude while experiencing moderate listening. We predicted that autonomy need satisfaction would mediate the effect of listening on speakers' self-esteem even when related-ness, a well-documented predictor of self-esteem, is controlled for in mediation models. Two experiments that manipulated listening through in-person interactions with high-quality or moderate listeners supported these hypotheses. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed, with a focus on the role of experiencing high-quality listening for speakers' state self-esteem during difficult conversations.
... The listening training was delivered by a certified instructor 5 in the listening circle paradigm. This paradigm is successful in improving employees' listening abilities in previous work (Itzchakov & Kluger, 2017a, 2017b. The variables were measured in both groups at three-time points: one week before the training began (time 1), one week after the 2 nd session (time 2), and three weeks after the end of training (time 3). ...
Article
Can improving employees’ interpersonal listening abilities impact their emotions and cognitions during difficult conversations at work? The studies presented here examined the effectiveness of listening training on customer service employees. It was hypothesized that improving employees’ listening skills would (a) reduce their anxiety levels during difficult conversations with customers, (b) increase their ability to understand the customers’ point of view (i.e., perspective-taking), and (c) increase their sense of competence. The two quasi-experiments provide support for the hypotheses. Study 1 (N = 61) consisted of a pre-post design with a control group and examined the effect of listening training on customer service employees in a Fortune 500 company. Study 2 (N = 33) conceptually replicated the results of Study 1 using listening training conducted in one branch of a company that provides nursing services compared to another branch of the company that did not receive training. The results indicated that listening training had lasting effects on employees' listening abilities, anxiety reduction, and perspective-taking during difficult conversations. The discussion centers on the importance of interpersonal listening abilities to the empowerment wellbeing of employees in the workplace.
... This contention is consistent with long-standing ideas about the social-identity functions of attitudes and beliefs (Smith et al., 1956) and with research about the social functions of attitudes (Pillaud et al., 2013;Weaver & Bosson, 2011), and, more particularly, with the idea that people may hold fast to pre-existing beliefs when their sense of social support is relatively weak (Jost et al., 2009;Murray et al., 2020). If so, one way to enhance openness to diverging perspectives may be to provide responsive, empathic support prior to exposure to alternative positions (Itzchakov & Kluger, 2017b) ...
Article
Can perceived responsiveness, the belief that meaningful others attend to and react supportively to core defining feature of the self, shape the structure of attitudes? We predicted that perceived responsiveness fosters open-mindedness, which, in turn, allows people to be simultaneously aware of opposing evaluations of an attitude object. We also hypothesized that this process will result in behavior intentions to consider multiple perspectives about the topic. Furthermore, we predicted that perceived responsiveness will enable people to tolerate accessible opposing evaluations without feeling discomfort. We found consistent support for our hypotheses in four laboratory experiments (Studies 1-3, 5) and a diary study (Study 4). Moreover, we found that perceived responsiveness reduces the perception that one's initial attitude is correct and valid. These findings indicate that attitude structure and behavior intentions can be changed by an interpersonal variable, unrelated to the attitude itself.
... This contention is consistent with longstanding ideas about the social-identity functions of attitudes and beliefs (Smith et al., 1956) and with research about the social functions of attitudes (Pillaud et al., 2013;Weaver & Bosson, 2011) , and, more particularly, with the idea that people may hold fast to pre-existing beliefs when their sense of social support is relatively weak (Jost et al., 2009;Murray et al., 2020). If so, one way to enhance openness to diverging perspectives may be to provide responsive, empathic support prior to exposure to alternative positions (Itzchakov & Kluger, 2017b) ...
Article
Can perceived responsiveness, the belief that meaningful others attend to and react supportively to core defining feature of the self, shape the structure of attitudes? We predicted that perceived responsiveness fosters open-mindedness, which, in turn, allows people to be simultaneously aware of opposing evaluations of an attitude object. We also hypothesized that this process will result in behavior intentions to consider multiple perspectives about the topic. Furthermore, we predicted that perceived responsiveness will enable people to tolerate accessible opposing evaluations without feeling discomfort. We found consistent support for our hypotheses in four laboratory experiments (Studies 1-3, 5) and a diary study (Study 4). Moreover, we found that perceived responsiveness reduces the perception that one's initial attitude is correct and valid. These findings indicate that attitude structure and behavior intentions can be changed by an interpersonal variable, unrelated to the attitude itself.
... A speaker tends to perceive good listening when the other is attentive, shows understanding, and expresses positive regard (Bodie, 2012;Itzchakov & Kluger, 2017a, 2017bItzchakov et al., 2017). Positive regard includes being nonjudgmental, empathic, respectful, and authentic (Rogers & Roethlisberger, 1991/1952. ...
Article
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Listening has powerful organizational consequences. However, studies of listening have typically focused on individual level processes. Alternatively, we hypothesized that perceptions of listening quality are inherently dyadic, positively reciprocated in dyads, and are correlated positively with intimacy, speaking ability, and helping-organizational-citizenship behavior, at the dyadic level. In two studies, teammates rated each other on listening and intimacy; in one, they also rated speaking ability, and helping-organizational-citizenship behavior, totaling 324 and 526 dyadic ratings, respectively. In both , social relations modeling suggested that the dyad level explained over 40% of the variance in both listening and intimacy, and yielded the predicted positive dyadic reciprocities (dyad members tend to rate each other similarly). Furthermore, listening perceptions correlated with intimacy, speaking ability, and helping reported by other workers, primarily at the dyadic level. Moreover, rating of listening, but not of speaking, by one dyad member, predicted intimacy reported by the other dyad member, and that intimacy, in turn, predicted helping-organizational-citizenship behavior. Counterintuitively, listening quality is more a product of the unique combination of employees than an individual difference construct. We conclude that perceived listening, but not perceived speaking, appears to be the glue that binds teammates to each other dyadically, and consequently affects helping.
... A structured process aimed to bring people together to better understand one another, build and strengthen connections and solve social problems. The key element of the listening circle is the willingness of its participants to shift from a formal, opinionated, discussion into a receptive and thoughtful process of speaking and deep listening (Itzchakov and Kluger, 2017). ...
Thesis
Our research paper looks at the sustainability challenge as an example of complexity in interrelated nested systems (or meta-problem) and we further explore the consequences of disruptive events induced by climate change (ie. Extreme Climate Events). Due to their potential effects on adaptive capacities of systems at all levels (macro, meso and micro) and the need for Strategic Sustainable Development (SSD) to develop meta-solutions (non-isolated, non-reinforcing) we focus on community-based interventions and participatory facilitation processes. Therefore, we enquire what might a process look like that supports a community’s psychological resilience and strategic sustainable development following a disruptive event. A way to reinforce a community’s adaptive capacities is through making meaning collaboratively and such a process can be supported by the use of stories and narrative. To this intent, we focus on the use of Collective Narrative Practices (CNP) within the implementation process (ABCD process) of the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD). CNP promote desired narratives and strengthen communities’ psychological resilience while the FSSD ensures the development of meta-solutions and their practical application (through the ABCD). Throughout a five-step exploration, we test their theoretical compatibility, interview FSSD and CNP practitioners, design an initial Process Prototype, test its validity by interviewing practitioners with expertise in both fields, and develop a final Process Prototype which embeds recommendations, guidelines and tools. Finally, our paper initiates the academic study of the linkage between FSSD and CNP and is aimed to guide practitioners of both fields to discern an effective way to facilitate the emergence of appropriate responses in a community, while maintaining or rebuilding its resilience and complying with SSD core principles.
... One key antecedent to relationship is listening quality. Indeed, current definitions of the construct of listening emphasize that relationship is one out of three components of the listening construct: attention, comprehension, and (positive) intention [20,21]. Specifically, speakers develop a perception that they are being listened to when they perceive that the other person pays attention to them, understands them, and relates to them in a positive manner (non-judgmental, empathic, etc.). ...
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Objectives: To examine the association between listening and disruptive behaviors and the association between disruptive behavior and the wellbeing of the nurse. To test whether constructive and destructive listening has an incremental validity. Methods: A structured questionnaire survey that measured the (constructive & destructive) listening climate at work, exposure to disruptive behaviors, well-being and feeling as a victim. We presented this survey using the Qualtrics software. Results: Of the final sample of 567 respondents who reported that they were nurses, MAge = 38.41, 67% indicated that they were exposed to some form of disruptive behavior. Experiencing listening in the ward was associated with low levels of exposure to disruptive behaviors; exposure to disruptive behaviors, in turn, predicted reduction in the nurses' wellbeing; the reduction in wellbeing was especially pronounced among nurses who felt like a victim. Each of the facets of the listening measure-constructive listening and destructive listening-had incremental validity in predicting exposure to disruptive behaviors. Finally, the effect of exposure to disruptive behavior on wellbeing was curvilinear. Conclusions: Disruptive behavior is a major challenge to the workplace well-being for nurses. The victim mentality has an adverse impact on nurses. Preventive efforts aimed at reducing disruptive behaviors among nurses and decreasing their sense of victimization are crucial for the well-being of nurses.
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We conducted an integrative review of research on listening relevant to work and organizations, published from 2000 to 2021, and across three disciplines (management, psychology, and communication studies). We found that listening research is fragmented across three perspectives: (1) perceived listening, (2) listeners’ experience, and (3) listening structures. We discuss how integrating these perspectives highlights two major tensions in listening research. First, there is a tension between speakers’ perceptions and listeners’ experience, which reveals a listening paradox – while listening is perceived to be beneficial for speakers, it can be experienced as costly and depleting for listeners. This paradox reveals why people struggle with listening when it is needed the most. Second, listening structures in organizations can create tensions between organizational goals and listeners’ experiences. While organizations use listening structures to enable and signal listening, these efforts can impose greater costs on listeners, reinforce existing power structures, and create opportunities for unwanted surveillance. Managing these tensions provides fertile ground for future research, in part because recent advances in communication technologies are changing the dynamics and structure of listening in organizations.
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Outcomes of conversations, including those dealing with controversial, deeply personal, or threatening disclosures, result not only from what is said but also from how listeners receive these messages. This paper integrates the motivational framework of self-determination theory (SDT; Ryan & Deci, 2017) and the expanding literature on interpersonal listening to explore the reasons why high-quality listening is so impactful during these conversations. We describe why high-quality listening is a specific and distinguishable autonomy-supportive motivational strategy, and argue that there is much to gain by considering that listening can satisfy basic psychological needs, in particular for autonomy and relatedness. We argue that SDT can help explain why high-quality listening is effective, especially in reducing defensiveness, bridging divides, and motivating change. The discussion focuses on ways motivation science can build more effective interventions for behavioral change by harnessing listening as an interpersonal strategy.
Book
Against the backdrop of research that tells us emotions are playing an increasingly prevalent role in organizations’ performance, this text draws on empirical studies to powerfully argue that it is incumbent upon school principals to display emotional leadership within the education system. A Model of Emotional Leadership in Schools sets out the importance of affective wellness in teachers and addresses questions on emotive school management. Bringing together a range of studies, the book elucidates emotion as a managerial tool in the school environment, and considers the interpersonal emotional support of teachers by principals. Ultimately, the text puts forward a new model of emotional leadership in schools to provide practical insights into the ways in which principals can influence, transform, and manage teachers’ emotions. This insightful text will be of interest to researchers, academics, and postgraduate students in the fields of school leadership and leadership strategy, as well as educators and school leaders concerned with how interpersonal aspects of emotion management play out within the school context.
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Purpose Following the call of DeNisi and Smith Sockbeson (this issue) to integrate the literatures on feedback and feedback-seeking, the authors propose to view feedback and feedback-seeking as behaviors falling on a conversation continuum ranging from telling subordinates something about their behavior (feedback) to listening. The authors develop a model according to which listening creates a special type of supervisor–subordinate relationship (an I–thou experience), which in turn allows subordinates to recognize faults and strengths in their behavior as to facilitate performance improvement, without the costs of formal feedback. Design/methodology/approach Theory development and narrative research review. Findings Feedback and feedback-seeking are communication behaviors emitted by a supervisor, or a subordinate, that can be conceptualized as points on a continuum ranging from telling (i.e. supervisor or subordinate giving feedback), through question-asking (i.e. supervisor’s or subordinate’s feedback-seeking), to listening (e.g. supervisor or subordinate listening to one another). Research limitations/implications Under many circumstances, listening can address organizational needs much better than feedback. Practical implications The feedforward interview in Listening Circles can be used to enhance performance at work. Social implications Shifting the attention from feedback to listening by managers and researchers could facilitate a host of positive outcomes including better performance, lower burnout, higher job satisfaction and less extremism. Originality/value This paper shows that listening is found on the other pole of feedback (telling) and exposes the benefits of considering listening, and not only telling.
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Practitioners repeatedly note that the everyday behavior of asking followers open questions and attentively listening to their responses is a powerful leadership technique. Yet, despite such popularity, these practices are currently under-theorized. Addressing this gap, we formally define the behavioral configuration of asking open questions combined with attentive listening as "Respectful Inquiry", and then draw on Self-Determination Theory to provide a motivational account of its antecedents, consequences, and moderators within a leader-follower relationship. Specifically, we argue that Respectful Inquiry principally satisfies followers' basic psychological needs for competence, relatedness, and autonomy. Against this background, we highlight ironic contexts where Respectful Inquiry is likely to be especially rare, but would also be especially valuable. These ironic contexts include situations where interpersonal power difference, time pressure, physical distance, cognitive load, follower dissatisfaction, or organizational control focus are high. We additionally outline how the effect of Respectful Inquiry behaviors critically hinges upon the interaction history a follower has with a leader. More generally, we make the suggestion that the leadership field would benefit from complementing its traditional focus on "gestalt" leadership styles with research on concrete and narrow communicative behaviors, such as Respectful Inquiry.
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Listening is known to strongly correlate with leadership perception. As leadership theories distinguish between people-oriented (consideration) and task-oriented (initiating structure) leaders, we sought to identify parallel listening behaviors: person-oriented listening versus fact-oriented listening. A survey of employees from multiple organizations (N = 238) suggested that both person-oriented listening and considerate leadership are better measured with subscales differentiating constructive and destructive listening and considerate and inconsiderate leadership. Second, results suggested that the highest correlations for each leadership scale were (a) leadership consideration with person-oriented listening (r = .71), (b) leadership inconsideration with destructive listening (r = .67), and (c) initiating- structure leadership with fact-oriented listening (r = .23). The pattern of relationships was further explored with a path analysis. Based on the data, it appears that measuring listening could benefit from using separate scales for constructive versus destructive listening, and that key aspects of leadership perception are highly correlated with listening behaviors.
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The present study focused on how distracted listening affects subsequent memory for narrated events. Undergraduate students experienced a computer game in the lab and talked about it with either a responsive or distracted friend. One month later, those who initially spoke with distracted listeners showed lower retention of information about the computer game, and their subsequent memories were also less consistent with their initial conversational recall. Differences in subsequent memory across initial listener condition appeared likely to be mediated by differences in the initial conversations elicited by responsive and unresponsive listeners. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for the social shaping of memory and identity.
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We examined how listeners characterized by empathy and a non-judgmental approach impact speakers' attitude structure. We hypothesized that high quality listening decreases speakers' social anxiety, which in turn reduces defensive processing. This reduction in defensive processing was hypothesized to result in an awareness of contradictions (increased objective-attitude ambivalence), and decreased attitude extremity. Moreover, we hypothesized that experiencing high quality listening would enable speakers to tolerate contradictory responses, such that listening would attenuate the association between objective and subjective- attitude ambivalence. We obtained consistent support for our hypotheses across four laboratory experiments that manipulated listening experience in different ways on a range of attitude topics. The effects of listening on objective-attitude ambivalence were stronger for higher dispositional social anxiety and initial objective attitude ambivalence (Study 4). Overall, the results suggest that speakers' attitude structure can be changed by a heretofore-unexplored interpersonal variable: merely providing high quality listening.
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In this study, we tested both Rogers's hypothesis that listening enables speakers to experience psychological safety, and our hypothesis that the benefit of listening for psychological safety is attenuated by avoidance-attachment style. We tested these hypotheses in six laboratory experiments, a field correlational study, and a scenario experiment. We meta analyzed the results of the laboratory experiments and found that listening increased psychological safety on average, but that the variance between the experiments was also significant. The between experiment variance in the effect of listening manipulation on psychological safety exposes a methodological challenge in choosing a research paradigm of good-versus-normal listening, as opposed to normal-versus-poor listening. More importantly, we found, as expected and across all designs, that the higher the avoidance-attachment style was, the lower the effect of listening was on psychological safety. This finding has implications both for practice and for placing a theoretical boundary on Rogers's theory.
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We hypothesized that (a) when people share a meaningful story, as opposed to when they share information, they make their partner listen well, and (b) that narrative-induced listening is positively associated with speakers’ psychological safety and negatively associated with their social anxiety. In Study 1 (N = 45), we showed that a meaningful story is perceived much more as a narrative and higher in narrative quality than two types of informational-discourses (telling about daily routine and describing buildings). In Study 2 (N = 52), we randomly asked participants to either share a meaningful story or tell about their daily routine. The participants sharing a meaningful story reported that their interlocutor was a better listener, d = 0.61, 95% CI |0.32, 0.92|. In Study 3 (N = 42), we compared the effect of sharing a meaningful story to describing buildings, and replicated the results of Study 2, d = 1.10, 95% CI |0.61, 1.59|. Moreover, we found that the perceived listening, which was induced by the narrative, mediated the manipulation effects on psychological safety, and social anxiety. Thus, we concluded that when speakers share meaningful stories they make their partner listen well and consequently experience higher psychological safety and lower feelings of social anxiety.
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Using informant reports on working professionals, we explored the role of listening in interpersonal influence and how listening may account for at least some of the relationship between personality and influence. The results extended prior work which has suggested that listening is positively related to influence for informational and relational reasons. As predicted, we found that: (1) listening had a positive effect on influence beyond the impact of verbal expression, (2) listening interacted with verbal expression to predict influence (such that the relationship between listening and influence was stronger among those more expressive), and (3) listening partly mediated the positive relationships between each of the Big Five dimensions of agreeableness and openness and influence.
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The Listening Circle is a learning activity that is designed to provide students with the opportunity to connect listening knowledge with observed behaviors and to strengthen student peer feedback. Not knowing how to give feedback can result in messages that are confusing, tactless, and counter-productive. Many feedback messages leave the receiver unsure of what to do with the information. By using a process that was developed by Sloan Weitzel of the Center for Creative Leadership, the Situation-Behavior-Impact (SBI) model has been adapted for this activity. Students are able to learn and practice a structure that helps keep feedback focused and relevant and increases the likelihood the feedback will be received in a clear, nondefensive manner by their peers. Concise, clear, and meaningful peer feedback is essential to learning and to sound assessment practice.
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Thus far, listening training has been limited to lectures on the process of listening and experiential exercises designed to provide for practice in listening and for assisting in a person's ability to recognize his or her own beneficial and detrimental listening behaviors. Using a new process—silence—for developing listening skills, this study compared the effects on perceived listening effectiveness of a self- imposed period of silence versus attending a lecture on listening skills versus a combination of a self-imposed period of silence and attending a lecture. While no significant differences were found for either lecture or silence or the combination of the two on measures of perceived listening effectiveness, qualitative data from journals kept by the participants suggest that the act of self-imposed silence greatly improves awareness of one's listening effectiveness and the value of developing beneficial listening skills.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. For more information about listening theory and empirical research see: 1
  • G Itzchakov
  • D Ames
  • L B Maissen
  • J Brockner
first author: Itzchakov, G. The Effects of Listening on Speakers' Social Anxiety and Attitude Characteristics, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. For more information about listening theory and empirical research see: 1. Ames, D., Maissen, L.B., & Brockner, J. (2012). The role of listening in interpersonal influence. Journal of Research in Personality, 46(3), 345-349.
The effects of perceived salesperson listening effectiveness in the financial industry
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Bergeron, J., & Laroche, M. (2009). The effects of perceived salesperson listening effectiveness in the financial industry. Journal of Financial Services Marketing, 14(1), 6-25. 10.1057/fsm.2009.1.
/1952). HBR Classic -Barriers and gateways to communication (Reprinted from Harvard Business Review
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Rogers, C., & Roethlisberger, F.J. (1991/1952). HBR Classic -Barriers and gateways to communication (Reprinted from Harvard Business Review, July August, 1952).
The Effects of Listening on Speakers' Social Anxiety and Attitude Characteristics, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. For more information about listening theory and empirical research see
  • G Itzchakov
the first author: Itzchakov, G. The Effects of Listening on Speakers' Social Anxiety and Attitude Characteristics, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. For more information about listening theory and empirical research see:
Are listeners per-609
  • A N Kluger
  • K Zaidel
Kluger, A.N., & Zaidel, K. (2013). Are listeners per-609