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Listening Notes. Difference between hearing & listening. Hearing - automatic reaction of the senses and nervous system. Listening - Understanding what was said; takes effort. Americans are poor listeners. Studies show that, on average, we only remember ____ % of what we hear. 25.

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Listening Notes

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Difference between hearing & listening

  • Hearing - automatic reaction of the senses and nervous system.

  • Listening - Understanding what was said; takes effort

Americans are poor listeners

  • Studies show that, on average, we only remember ____ % of what we hear.


Why we remember so little….

  • We forget, ignore, distort, or misunderstand the majority of incoming messages.

One problem with listening...


    • People speak 120 -180 words per minute

    • Listen 6 times faster

Listening Spare Time

  • Thinking time created by the ability to listen faster than people speak.

We listen carefully to things that are important to us

  • EX. A 911 operator compared to chatting with your friend.

Selective Listening

  • We hear what we want to hear and tune out what we don’t.

  • The Japanese Economy

  • Bill Engvall

    • ..\My Music\Unknown Artist\Unknown Album (9-7-2005 10-59-05 AM)\06 Track 6.wma

4 ways to listen….

Appreciative Listening

  • Most basic listening style

    • Enjoying music, bird’s song, etc.

Discriminate Listening

  • Used when you want to single out one particular sound from a noisy environment.

Empathic Listening

  • Encourages people to talk freely without fear of embarrassment.

Critical Listening

  • Evaluating what you hear and deciding if the message has value.

7 Roadblocks to Effective Listening

Tune out Dull Topics

  • Many listeners decide early on that a topic is going to be boring.

  • Try to listen for something you can use yourself. Ex. joke, idea, quote, etc.

Faking Attention

  • It’s appropriate to be courteous, but sometimes we take good manners to the extreme.

  • Speakers need you to listen to what they say, not just look like you’re listening.

Yielding to Distractions

  • Noises or movements often can affect our concentration.

Criticizing Delivery or Physical Appearance

  • Some listeners become distracted by thinking things like,“How many times has she said the word ‘like’?”

  • Remember that the content of his message is what counts, not his appearance.

Jumping to Conclusions

  • Personal biases may cause a listener to ask too many questions, interrupt too often, or try to pick an argument.

Overreacting to emotional words

  • People sometimes react to certain words or phrases that push our “hot buttons.”


  • Try to see if you spend most of your listening time thinking about what you want to say.

Filters that Distort








Physical Condition



Listening in the Workplace



  • Remember names.

    • A) Repeat name 2-3 times in the 1st conversation

    • B) Relate name to something familiar

    • C) Develop a determination to remember

His Name??

  • Professional Etiquette

    • A) Introduce older or more powerful person to the other, and then the 2nd person to the first.

    • EX. “Mr. Johnson, I’d like you to meet my sister, Kim. Kim, I’d like you to

      meet my professor, Mr. Johnson.”

  • B) If you are being introduced…

    • Make eye contact with the person you are meeting.

    • Extend your hand in greeting.

    • Make a brief comment that includes the person’s name.

      EX. “A pleasure to meet you, Mr. Smith.”

Accepting Criticism

  • Although criticism hurts, keep an open mind and don’t take things personally.

    • A) Always separate your job behavior from your ego

    • B) Look objectively for any place for improvement.

  • Although criticism often distracts us by making us recall the incident rather than listen, remember that your boss knows the situation cannot be erased.

    • Sheis mainly interested in seeing future improvements.

Ask for Explanations

  • You may often need more information.

    • A) Ask speaker something like, “Would you please clarify that?”

    • B) If you suggest the speaker needs help with his speech, they may become offended.

Paraphrase the Message

  • Repeating a message in your own words goes a step beyond asking questions.EX. “In other words, your view is….”

    • A) Checks accuracy of speaker’s message

    • B) Focus on content of what was said

      rather than any feelings.

Summarize the Message

  • Goes one step beyond paraphrasing; you condense the points into a brief comment. EX. “What the manager said so far is…”

    • Especially useful in situations involving conflict or complaints

Write down the message

  • Taking notes will…

    • Increase listening and you remember more.

    • Increase chances you will review what has been said.

    • Gives speaker positive feedback; you thought enough of his speech to write it down.

Tips for taking notes

  • Be prepared. Keep pen and paper with you.

  • Get it down and don’t worry about neatness - you can recopy notes later.

  • Don’t try to write everything down.

    • Avoid complete sentences.

    • Draw lines to connect ideas.

    • Omit vowels.

    • Develop your own shorthand with symbols, pictures, punctuation, and abbreviations.

  • EX. Glenna, lnch w/HP client, FRI 11:30 @ Macaroni’s

  • Means: You and Glenna have a lunch meeting with a Hewlett Packard Customer on Friday at 11:30 am at Macaroni’s restaurant.

Propaganda Techniques


  • An appeal which uses the recommendation of a famous or respected person.

  • Examples:

    • “According to Alf, 10-10-220 is the long distance company to use.”

    • “Bill Cosby eats Jello Pudding, shouldn’t you?”

False Comparison

  • Comparing unlike things.

  • Examples

    • Since you are so good at baseball, you’ll be excellent at soccer.

    • Since I got sick from McDonald’s, I won’t eat at other fast food restaurants.

Name Calling

  • Assigning a negative label without any evidence.

  • Examples

    • Democrats are such big spenders.

    • Mark is such a loser; stay away from him.


  • An appeal to act a certain way because everyone else is.

  • Examples

    • All of the honest people are voting for Bush.

    • Boy Scouts is the fastest growing organization in the country – Get in the action and join today!

Emotional Appeals

  • Used to arouse emotional reactions.

  • Examples

    • The humane society tells a moving story about abuse of pets in order to raise money for their shelter.

    • Seeing and hearing about poverty stricken children with no shoes or clothes.

Stack the Deck

  • To give only one side of the story.

  • Examples

    • Michael Jackson is a great person; just look how successful his music is.

    • Bill left his family for no reason; he didn’t even let them know where he was.

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