The process of good listening is disturbed by many things. There are many barriers to good listening. They are listed below.
Prejudice against the speaker
We should not have any biased idea against a speaker. It is a matter of common sense that we listen to a person well, if we consider him good. If we don’t consider him good, we don’t pay attention to his words. Therefore, for good listening we should not form a preconceived notion against a speaker.
There are many external things which disturb the attention of a speaker. To excessive gestures on the part of a speaker may break the uniformity of attention of a listener.
Suppose a speaker moves his hand excessively. He puts a smile on his face again and again. He shows his teeth and twists his moustaches frequently. Such movements are always unwanted during speech. Such things disturb the attention of a listener. At the same time, the loose dress, the unfamiliar appearance and the extraordinary condition of conference may give birth to conditions which are hostile to good listening.
Sometimes a speaker begins to bore his audience. He delivers an uninteresting and dull speech. His pitch of voice during delivering the speech remains uniform. The listeners lose interest in his speech. They may begin to doze. Good listening demands that the speaker should keep the interest of the listener alive.
Sometimes the listeners draw hasty conclusions from a speech. They have the tendency to think faster than a speaker. This difference between the speed of delivery and the speed of thinking of the listener may sometimes obstruct good listening.
Sometimes a speaker depends upon certain words in his speech. He repeats these words. These words begin to bore audience and they begin to jar the ears of the listener. These annoying words are also a barrier in the process of listening.
Another common fault is selective listening. Sometimes a listener only listens to things which suit him, or which are of his interest. He only remembers these things in which he is interested. Effective listening is affected adversely when we are not interested in message.
Listening with a purpose
A listener must listen to a thing with some purpose in it. Suppose a teacher delivers a lecture in the class. The student who is a listener does not pay attention to it. Who is responsible for not learning the lesson? The teacher or the student. Here the student is obviously at fault. He does not attend to the teacher with a view to learning something. The listener must try to listen with the purpose of getting information about a problem from the speaker. It means that if we listen to anything without some purpose, we are sure to suffer in the art of listening. This is also treated as a barrier to listening.