Good communication is the basic foundation for all human relations. A good communicator should be focused on the information that is being communicated in order to avoid veering off the topic. This may lead to misunderstandings and conflicts. Good listening is required for effective communication to take place. There are several interrelated factors hat affect effective communication as well as listening. People in a relationship should develop good communication and listening skills in order to be able to understand each other and avoid conflicts as well as to solve them whenever they arise. 

            There are several theories of communication and listening that can be used to understand and solve conflicts in relationships. The most effective theory that can be used in understanding the causes of conflicts in order to effectively solve them is the Attributive theory by Heider. Attributive theory in communication attempts to understand the process of communication in human beings. Application theory on the other hand tries to explain the differences in levels of motivation. It states that high achievers approach instead of avoiding tasks that lead to success. The belief of high achievers is that success is a result of effort and high ability and they are capable of these.


Satisfactory interpersonal relations are founded on effective communication. Effective communication in human relationships serves the purpose of facilitating understanding between the people involved in that relationship (Human Relations Movement. (2002). For communication to be successful, it must bear the elements of honesty and truth. This forms the foundation for development of trust. Trust is a key ingredient for healthy interpersonal relationships. It is through effective communication that human relationships succeed as it enables the members to understand each other and avoid conflicts. Conflicts occur in relationships from time to time and the members must use the most effective means to resolving them. Effective communication is the most efficient method of solving conflicts in human relationship. Communication can succeed only if the parties involved are good at listening. Good listening skills are very vital as they help people to put to memory what is said. It is mostly through practice that a person can learn good listening skills that enable the retention of information.

Good communication entails skill and the audience must be good at listening so as to benefit from the communication process. Good communication is essential for the sustenance of relationships. The failure of relationships is occasioned by poor communication or total lack of it.  My relationship with my college mates is founded on the basic principles of mutual understanding and conflicts sometimes occur as a result of poor communication and listening. There are some behaviors that act as a hindrance to skillful communication among our members.  To ensure effective communication, we try to avoid some of the things that act as barriers to effective communication such as passivity, dominance, inappropriate self-disclosure, grilling or interrogation, use of crude language, use of jargon, demoralizing, patronizing, inept confrontation, insensitivity to feelings, and, pressure tactics.

Good listening is the key to conflict resolution. There has to be dialogue for communication to take place. Oral communication is the most effective form of communication as it provides for interaction between the speaker and the listener. Good listening is aided by the process of communication. This implies that any attempt to resolve a conflict is futile without good communication skills, which in turn facilitate good listening. It takes a good communicator for people to listen to what is being said. In any form of interpersonal relations, communication is the key factor. Good interpersonal relations are characterized by effective communication. Poor interpersonal relations on the other hand are characterized by poor communication which is as a result of, among other factors, poor listening skills.

Most of my colleagues have the weakness of being unable to listen effectively; not because they do not have the aural faculties that function well, but because they have never taken the time to develop the skills that are necessary for effective listening. Many of the conflicts we have are as a result of poor listening skills which lead to misunderstandings in most of the cases. We find it important to try to acquire the necessary listening skills to avoid these conflicts in our relationship. With the skills needed for effective listening, the concept of the talk is well understood and the message being passed is well executed. For one to be able to remember particular information depends on how well they listen to what is being talked and this depends on how effective their listening skills are. The person receiving the information needs to have a clear focus on the information being presented. How well one is able to listen to certain information depends on the type of the information, the environment in which the information is being presented and the kind of communication being used to put the information across (Weiner 1980, P.27).

Conflicts arise in our group as a result of some colleagues using inappropriate language. Use of jargon makes it difficult for people who do not belong to the particular group to understand each other. This automatically interferes with effective listening. The greatest problem to interpersonal relationships is the inability to listen well. It is true that there is a direct relationship between the ability to listen well and intellectual ability. It is a proven fact that very intelligent people exhibit a higher ability to retain much of what they listen to compared to less intelligent people. The implication here is that people with high IQs have a higher memory compared to those with relatively low IQs. Memory is synonymous with remembrance and as such people with high IQs remember more of what they listen tot compared to those with lower IQs. The ability to listen among people of average and above average intelligence is in direct relation with some certain skills that are mostly acquired either through training or experience. Some things like a person’s presence, being alert or learning to read alone can not guarantee an automatic increase in listening abilities.

Attributive theory in communication was advanced by Heider in 1958 in his attempt to understand the process of communication in human beings. He proposed a psychology theory of attribution in the act of communication whereby people can be compared to amateur scientists. He noted that they try to understand the behavior of other people by way of putting together information up to a point whereby they can get a reasonable explanation as well as cause with relation to communication. The theory looks at how people interpret events and how this interpretation affects their thinking as well as behavior. People make an effort to understand why others do the things they do. A person trying to understand the reason behind the actions of another is likely to attribute some causes that are consistent with that behavior.

Application theory tries to explain the different levels of motivation and states that high achievers approach instead of avoiding tasks that lead to success. The belief of high achievers is that success is a result of effort and high ability and they are capable of these. The converse is true of underachievers whose failure is attributable to their fear of approaching difficult tasks in the belief that they are not capable.

The theory that listening is a unique activity argues that there is a distinct difference between listening and reading. Listening has much to do with communication, understanding as well as comprehension. Some people are very excellent in reading; they can even attract the attention of the most inattentive by the way they arrange the words in their sentences for special effects and the way they articulate their words but the tragedy is that they can not tell what the information is all about.

Listening is affected by a number of factors. Concentration levels are one of the main factors that affect listening. It is true that people are able to think a lot faster than they can talk. It is estimated that in a minute, a person is able to talk an average of 125 words. This implies that one should be careful to ensure that they do not talk more than they can remember. People think faster and hence get distracted or get into irrelevant thoughts which are not in line with the information being presented. It is also possible to get into a different line of thought then get back to the mode of listening if what is being said is deemed to be relevant.

The thoughts of a listener are influenced by anticipation of the theme of what is being talked. The thoughts of the listener are likely to start wandering on what the speaker may be trying to say and this improves the quality of listening. People are able to weigh the facts being presented in order to establish whether the information presented is valid by using listening as well as rationalization skills (Johnson 2009, p.46). This is good for keeping them focused on the content of what is being presented hence improving their ability to listen. Another essential ingredient for improving the ability to listen is note taking. It involves summarizing the points being made by taking notes so as to reinforce the process of listening. It has been established that writing down information physically can improve the ability for remembrance of information as well as comprehend particular information.

Effective listening is essential for spurring creativity as weld as new ideas. One can improve their listening skills by trying to find ideas that they can use in their personal lives or in business. This is possible by asking oneself questions throughout the process of listening. This is a key technique that can bed used to improve listening skills.

It is very important to improve our listening skills in order to be able to understand the concept t of a talk or conversation so that we can avoid some scenarios that may bring a conflict. This is boosted by studying communication skills and more specifically, listening skills that are essential for one to understand a talk. In cases where it proves to be difficult to develop these skills naturally or out of personal training, an expert in the field of communication can be very resourceful. Breaking information into simpler terms for easier memorization can improve listening skills. This may include paraphrasing the information into easier terms that can be more easily understood. For managers, it is important to make sure that company information is well understood by conveying it through simple terms that are understandable to all. Developing a listening critique is essential towards this goal as it can be used to make sure what was said is well understood by using good listening skills. Listening to a talk or a speech without a purpose is useless. One must perfect the art of memorizing in order to be a good listener. This involves getting the facts and putting them into consideration, which helps one to be a good listener. Keenness to detail acts as a motivator for one to listen well (Johnson 2009, pp. 21-53)

The person presenting the information should also participate in making the audience improve their listening skills by asking them what they plan to do with the information rather than asking them whether they understand because understanding is different from putting to memory what has been listened to. It is a proven fact that emotions affect people’s ability to listen. In order to be able to listen carefully, people should train to wipe off emotions that may act as filters to information. When information that is being presented is unpleasant to the listener, it is very possible that listening will be affected. Listening skills also improve when what is being said is pleasant to the listener and this implies that the information is well understood.

Good listening is the key to conflict resolution. These are aided by the process of communication.  This therefore implies that any attempt to solve conflicts is futile without good communication skills which in turn facilitate good listening. It takes a good communicator for people to listen to what the speaker is saying.

Attributive theory is the most ideal for use in improving conflict management and listening skills. It is very important for the individuals in a relationship to take the time to understand the actions of their colleagues before making any conclusions so that they can be able to arrive at an informed decision (Daly 1996, p. 24-28). Listening is very import and in this theory because information is passed through communication and the communicator has to be listened to carefully so that the information is conveyed. The interpretation of the information is highly dependent on how well it was understood and this helps to avoid situations that lead to misunderstandings and eventually conflicts. In our relationship we try to understand an individual’s behavior and the reason behind that behavior so that we can be able to put it in the right context to avoid conflicts (Weiner 1986, pp. 13-53).


Conflicts are characteristic of any human relationship and the most import and thing in such cases is to master the skill s that is needed to resolve them (Roth 2001, pp. 11-13). Communication is the most effective tool which can be used to resolve conflicts. The person involved in the process of resolving the conflict should be armed with the right skills. People in a relationship ought to encourage good listening skills. Through good listening they are ale to understand each other as well as reason together to find a solution to a problem. Good listening is effective in the sense that it makes all the members aware of what was said. It is through knowing the context of a talk that a person is able to make an informed opinion on whether or not to agree with the members in the relationship depending on the principles that person holds.

Communication is an art and it must be practiced so as to perfect it. An excellent communicator should be able to refer to one or several theories of communication and listening so as to be able to use the most appropriate one in conveying the message to the audience. It is important for a person to review the information before presenting it to the listeners so that the things that may affect good listening can be eliminated.

The greatest obstacle to conflict resolution is the inability of the concerned parties to understand each other. Listening leads to understanding and the inability to understand is occasioned by poor listening. Listening occurs within a process of communication and as such the person communicating should be clear so that the message can be understood in the right context. Use of wrong communication methods is largely responsible for misunderstandings because the people in a relationship are not able to understand each other.

























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Weiner, B. (1980). Human Motivation. Holt, Rinehart & Winston: New York.