Listening Process and listening bariers Jareleny

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Listening Process


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The Nature and Process of Listening :

The Nature and Process of Listening Lesson 1

About 70% of an average person’s waking hours are spent in communicating. :

About 70% of an average person’s waking hours are spent in communicating. How much of that time do you think is spent in listening? 45% 60% 30% 55% 20%

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What percentage of the information given in a 10 minutes presentation does a listener retain? 60% 50% 30% 55% 20%

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What percentage of the information is remembered two days after the presentation? 55% 50% 25% 30%

Can you hear me talking?:

Can you hear me talking? Does that mean that you are a good listener? A person with normal hearing is not necessarily a good listener. Many different things can prevent a speaker’s message from being received… These are called barriers to listening.

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Listening is a complex process— an integral part of the total communication process, albeit a part often ignored. This neglect results largely from two factors.

What is Listening?:

What is Listening? Have you ever had the embarrassing experience of having someone ask you question during a conversation when you were only pretending to listen? You have no idea what the question was, so you have no idea what the answer should be. Or have you ever had someone ask you to do something that was important to that person but unimportant to you—so you forgot to do it? The sounds may go into your ears, but that does not mean that your brain interprets them; nor does it mean that your mind stores the message or that your body does what the message requested. Sometimes you hear, you listen, and you even understand the message, but you do not obey. The listening process is complicated. Much happens between the reception of sounds and an overt response by the receiver. The first step in learning about listening is to understand the distinction between hearing and listening. Hearing is simply the act of receiving sound. You can close your eyes to avoid seeing, pinch your nose to avoid smelling, and shrink away to avoid touch, but your ears have no flaps to cover them. Their structure suggests that for your own protection, your ears should never be closed, even when you sleep. Because you cannot close your ears, you receive and hear sounds constantly.

Listening Process:

Listening Process Listening to what is said and making sense of it.

The Listening Process:

The Listening Process


Receiving This step is easily understood. You may send a message to me by E-mail. It may be wonderfully composed and clear. You may have used effective techniques to organize and support your message. The subject may be one of great interest to me. Imagine further that I both admire and respect you, and that I like to receive E-mail from you.

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Remember that hearing and listening are not the same. Hearing is the reception of sound; listening is the attachment of meaning. Hearing is, however, a necessary prerequisite for listening and an important component of the listening process.


Attending Focus on what you are hearing and the most important information in the message. Ignore any distractions. Human listening is often ineffective—or does not occur—for similar reasons. Receiving occurs, but attending does not.

We therefore must choose, whether consciously or unconsciously, to attend to some stimuli and reject others. Three factors determine how these choices are made. :

We therefore must choose, whether consciously or unconsciously, to attend to some stimuli and reject others. Three factors determine how these choices are made. 1. Selectivity of attention. 2. Strength of attention. 3. Sustainment of attention.


Understanding “Communication begins with understanding.” Effective communication does not take place until the receiver understands the message. In listening, both verbal and nonverbal symbols are crucial to understanding. Understand the message. Make connections with what you already know or create new knowledge. Most important stage.

Consider the roles they play.:

Consider the roles they play. 1. Verbal symbols. Barrier #1: The same words mean different things to different people. This barrier is a common one, and it may be experienced whenever any two people attempt to communicate . Barrier #2: Different words sometimes mean the same thing. Many things are called by more than one name. 2. Nonverbal symbols. Barrier #1: Misinterpretation of the action. Eye contact, gestures, and facial expression are action factors that affect the meaning we attach to a message. For that matter, any movement or action carries meaning. Barrier #2: Misinterpretation of non-action symbols. Barrier #3: Misinterpretation of the voice.


Responding The listening process may end with understanding, since effective communication and effective listening may be defined as the accurate sharing or understanding of meaning. But a response may be needed—or at least helpful.

Types of responses:

Types of responses 1. Direct verbal responses. 2. Responses that seek clarification. 3. Responses that paraphrase. 4. Nonverbal responses. Responding, then, is a form of feedback that completes the communication transaction. It lets the sender know that the message was received, attended to, and understood.


Remembering Memorization of facts is not the key to good listening. Yet memory is often a necessary and integral part of the listening process. Long –term memory Short-term memory

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With short-term memory, information is used immediately—within a few seconds, for example, as with a phone number that we look up. Short-term memory has a rapid forgetting rate and is very susceptible to interruption. And the amount of information that can be retained is quite limited, though it varies somewhat with variations in the material to be retained. Short-term memory

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Long-term memory allows us to recall information and events hours, days, weeks—even years—later. Long –term memory

Lesson 2:

Lesson 2 Barriers to Listening

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There are three major barriers to listening… External barriers Speaker barriers And listener barriers

External Barriers:

External Barriers External barriers are situations in the environment that keep you from paying careful attention to the speaker. What are some external barriers?

External Barrier Examples:

External Barrier Examples Bee flying around your head An ambulance siren Cell phone going off Coughing Whispering Giggling

External Barriers:

External Barriers External barriers can be temporary and unusual, but they also can be permanent. External barriers exist outside the speakers and listeners but can greatly interfere with communication.

External Barrier Solutions:

External Barrier Solutions Shut the window Close the door Turn off the cell phone Good listeners recognize the distractions and ignore or remove them. Usually good speakers try to adapt to them in order to help the listeners.

Speaker Barriers:

Speaker Barriers What are speaker barriers? Speaker barriers are characteristics of the speaker that interfere with listening. They include appearance and manner, prejudice, and believability. Why are these relevant as speaker barriers?

Distracting Appearance and Manner:

Distracting Appearance and Manner Some speakers turn off their audiences through their appearance or by their manner of speaking. Appearance may interfere with the message. How could the speaker’s appearance interfere with the message?


Appearance If you are distracted by a speaker’s clothes, jewelry, or hairstyle, you may miss the main point of the message.


Manner Some people constantly use filler words such as “you know,” or “like.” Remember the “Um” game… What are some other examples of “filler” words? Others look at the floor, tap their fingers during a conversation. These habits distract listeners, who remember the annoying habit rather than the message.


Prejudice Speakers who appear narrow-minded or prejudiced also turn off listeners. Listeners are not likely to concentrate on the message when they are upset. Or, have you ever pre-judged someone and later realized that you were wrong?

Lack Of Believability:

Lack Of Believability Listeners need to believe that the speaker knows his or her subject well. A speaker with low believability may create barriers to listening. What if Paris Hilton was going to give a speech about global warming? Or would you listen to speech from Hanna Montana about the importance of universal health care.

What Makes A Person Believable?:

What Makes A Person Believable? A person’s formal or informal reputation precedes a message. Sometimes a speaker establishes believability during a conversation. Example…When I won a Michael Jackson dance competition in Houston….

Lack Of Believability Examples:

Lack Of Believability Examples What if two people are talking about sports? What if they sound like they do not know what they are talking about? If they seem to know little about the topic they tend to create a barrier between themselves and the listener.

Listener Barriers:

Listener Barriers Listener barriers are personal attitudes or behaviors that interfere with listening. You can keep yourself from being a competent communicator. What are some examples of listener barriers?

Listener Barrier Examples:

Listener Barrier Examples Internal distractions Lack of knowledge Personal prejudices And your desire to talk All of these may get in the way of listening

Internal Distractions:

Internal Distractions Your thoughts, feelings, or physical distractions can interfere with listening. Examples… Argument with a friend, bad test grade, thinking about you weekend plans. Physical distress, headaches, cramps, lack of sleep, etc.

Lack Of Knowledge:

Lack Of Knowledge Sometime you will find that no matter how hard you try to listen, you cannot understand what the speaker is saying. Remember Charlie Brown? Your past experience or classes may not have you prepared for a discussion on rock collecting, or bluegrass music. Or if a speaker constantly uses terms you are not familiar with like fade-away, dunk, assist, lane violation, or traveling.

Coping With Lack Of Knowledge:

Coping With Lack Of Knowledge How could we be good listeners in such a situation? Good listeners take the risk of asking questions to clear up what they cannot understand. They also try to learn to interpret new words and nonverbal symbols to be more effective listeners in the future.

Personal Prejudice:

Personal Prejudice Personal beliefs may also keep you from really hearing what another person has to say. People have their own beliefs on certain subjects. These beliefs may reflect a listener’s studies or upbringing and can be difficult to change. Some people believe they know everything about a certain topic.

Personal Prejudice Continued:

Personal Prejudice Continued Some people thing they cannot learn anything new by listening carefully to others. This attitude leads to closed minds and creates barriers to communication. What are some examples of personal prejudice?

Personal Prejudice Examples:

Personal Prejudice Examples Sensitive topics can cause barriers to good listening. If a person you just met asks you about your religion, you may put up a barrier. Sometimes after you hear the speaker’s view you determine that your view is opposite, and you decide not to listen. Like politics, sports teams, clothes, music, etc.

Desire To Talk:

Desire To Talk Many people would rather talk than listen. Have you ever been in an argument, and just couldn’t wait for your turn to talk? Very little listening is going on in these situations. We do not listen to the other persons ideas, and just repeat our own over and over.

Desire To Talk Help:

Desire To Talk Help Good listeners try to listen until a speaker is finished. Then they start to respond. Sometime people compete to “top” another person’s story, joke, etc. Examples… Every speaker and listener has the responsibility to try to communicate with the other. Communication breaks down when barriers go up and one or both persons stop trying to reach each other.

Guidelines For Good Listening:

Guidelines For Good Listening Watch for nonverbal clues Try to see things from the speaker’s point of view Avoid distractions Listen for the new and unusual idea Listen for repetition (I Have A Dream) Get prepared (clear mind)

More Guidelines For Good Listening:

More Guidelines For Good Listening Respond to the speaker Apply the ideas to yourself (How does this relate to me?) Listen for structure Review, and review your points