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 studies, social relations modeling suggested that the dyad level explained over 40 percent of the variance in both listening and intimacy, and yielded the predicted positive dyadic reciprocities. Furthermore, as predicted, listening perceptions correlated with intimacy, speaking ability, and helping behavior as 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.
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