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Ch. 4 Listening:

Ch. 4 Listening

Listening vs. Hearing:

Listening vs. Hearing Hearing - the process in which sound waves strike the eardrum and cause vibrations that are transmitted to the brain Listening occurs when the brain reconstructs these electrochemical impulses into a representation of the original sound that gives them meaning

The listening process involves several stages:

The listening process involves several stages Attending - paying attention to a certain stimulus Understanding- when we make sense of the message we heard Responding- when we give feedback to the person who sent the message Remembering - what we actually remember of the message that we heard

Are we good listeners?:

Are we good listeners? Studies show that people only remember half of what we hear immediately after hearing it (within two months half of the half we remembered is also gone) Overall, we remember about 25% of what we hear The residual message is what we remember

Important points to remember:

Important points to remember Listening is not a natural process Listening requires effort All listeners do not receive the same messages

Faulty listening behaviors:

Faulty listening behaviors Psuedolistening - when someone appears to be listening but in reality they are not Selective listening - only listen to what they want to listen to Defensive listening -take innocent comments as personal attacks Ambushing - listen carefully but only to collect information to use against you and attack

Faulty listening cont…:

Faulty listening cont… Insulated listening - forget right away what they heard do not pay attention to the message that was sent Insensitive listening - don’t receive others messages clearly because they do not look beneath the words being spoken only take at face value

Faulty listening behaviors cont…:

Faulty listening behaviors cont… Stage hogging - “conversational narcissists” try to turn the topic to themselves instead of showing interest in the speaker

Informational listening:

Informational listening A listening approach to follow when you want to understand another person. When goal is to clearly interpret message sent by other person you are communicating with

You may become a more effective informational listener by practicing the following seven skills::

You may become a more effective informational listener by practicing the following seven skills:

#1 Don’t argue or judge prematurely:

#1 Don’t argue or judge prematurely Listen first Make sure you understand Then evaluate or argue, if you choose

#2 Separate the message from the speaker:

#2 Separate the message from the speaker Don’t shoot the messenger Don’t discount a message just based on who is presenting it

#3 Be opportunistic:

#3 Be opportunistic Find some value in even the worst situations Even when you are stuck in a boring conversation there might still be nuggets of important information

#4 Look for key ideas:

#4 Look for key ideas Try to figure out what the main point of the message is

#5 Ask questions:

#5 Ask questions Questioning is a very useful tool in clarifying interpretations Ask questions in order to clarify your idea of the sender’s message

#6 Paraphrase:

#6 Paraphrase Restate what it is you think the message was that the sender meant to send Than ask if you were correct in your interpretation This leaves room for possible needed clarification

#7 Take notes:

#7 Take notes Notes provide an excellent backup to memory Use when it is important that message is remembered

Points that will help you take effective notes::

Points that will help you take effective notes: Don’t wait to long after the interaction to write notes down Record only key ideas Develop a note-taking format

Critical listening:

Critical listening Critical listening or evaluative listening- takes place when one is judging the quality of a message in order to decide whether to accept it or reject it

There are many important points to remember when critically evaluating a message:

There are many important points to remember when critically evaluating a message Listen to information before evaluating Evaluate speakers credibility -is the speaker competent? - is the speaker impartial/biased?

Examine the speaker’s evidence and reasoning:

Examine the speaker’s evidence and reasoning 1. Is the evidence recent enough? 2. Is enough evidence presented? 3. Is the evidence from a reliable source? 4. Can the evidence be interpreted in more than one way?

Examine emotional appeals:

Examine emotional appeals Are you being influenced only by emotion?

Empathic Listening:

Empathic Listening Takes place when the overall goal is to build a relationship or help the speaker solve a problem Often used when others seek help for personal dilemmas May also help you to become better acquainted with others

Approaches of empathic listening:

Approaches of empathic listening Advising Judging Analyzing Questioning Supporting Prompting Paraphrasing


Advising Takes place when one tries to help by offering a solution Before offering advice it is important that three conditions are met: 1. You are confident that advice is correct 2. Ask yourself whether the person seeking your advice seems willing to accept it 3. Be certain that the receiver won’t blame you if the advice doesn’t work out


Judging A judging response evaluates the sender’s thoughts or behaviors in some way Can be positive or negative

For best results when judging the following conditions should exist: :

For best results when judging the following conditions should exist: The person with problem should have requested an evaluation from you Your judgment is genuinely constructive and not designed as a put down


Analyzing The listener offers an interpretation of a speaker’s message

There are many guidelines to follow when analyzing a message: :

There are many guidelines to follow when analyzing a message: Offer your interpretation in a tentative way rather than as absolute fact Your analysis ought to have a reasonable chance of being correct Be sure other person will be receptive to your analysis Be sure that your motive for offering analysis is truly to help the other person


Questioning is a way to help others think and work through their problems The most effective questioning follows these principles: Don’t ask questions just to satisfy your own curiosity Be sure your questions won’t confuse or distract the person you are trying to help Don’t use questions to disguise your suggestions or criticism


Supporting Offering support for another dealing with a problem may have a powerful effect When offering support: Make sure your expression of support is sincere Be sure the other person can accept your support


Prompting A more passive approach to helping others solve problems Prompting involves using silences and brief statements of encouragement to draw others out, guiding them to solve their own problems


Paraphrasing Repeating what others said in your own words and asking for clarification

When paraphrasing consider the following: :

When paraphrasing consider the following: Is the problem complex enough? Do you have the necessary time and concern? Are you genuinely interested in helping the other person? Can you withhold judgment? Is your paraphrasing in proportion to other responses?

In conclusion…:

In conclusion… Listening is a complex process, but with this knowledge and practice we all have the ability to become more effective listeners

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