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There have been many times in school when we held discussions on different topics. One topic in particular I remember is a discussion we held a while ago about the Big Bang Theory. Some of the challenges I noted included the treating of the discussion as a competition by some of the participants. Once the discussion became a debate it, greatly hindered most listeners from participating and forced them to pick sides. Personally, I was against the theory and it made me not to try and see from the other’s point of view. The speaker countered this barrier by organizing a separate session for the debate and this helped get the discussion back on track.

Another barrier I noticed was the assumption to know everything or “know it all" attitude among some of the participants. The effect I observed because of this was the closed-mindedness that it created and as a result some of the listeners did not pay much attention to the speaker and pre-judged the subject of the discussion. The speaker countered this barrier by encouraging the participants to give the speaker time to finish by waiting for a moment after the speaker concludes before replying.

Yet another barrier I observed was some of the participants trying to impress or influence the outcome of the discussion because of their personal biases. Most participants tried to not only impress others with their knowledge on the subject but also influence the speaker to side with their view on the topic of discussion. The speaker countered this barrier by encouraging the participants to not have a motive but instead keep an open mind and encouraging a "listening for the sake of it" attitude.

Although there always are barriers to effective communication, it is possible to counter their effects and to learn much in the process (Kratz & Kratz, 1995). The barriers I listed above greatly contributed to my inability to listen effectively but as the speaker handled them I learnt how to cope with these barriers. Effective listening is indeed possible if addressed accordingly.

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