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Understanding Human Communication . Listening. The Ship That Couldn't Be Sunk

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Understanding human communication listening wait a minute

The Ship That Couldn't Be Sunk

One of the greatest tragedies in the history of sea travel occurred on the night of April 14, 1912, when the crew of the Titanic refused to listen to repeated warnings of icebergs. The crew had been led to believe that this brand-new pas­senger liner was "unsinkable." Even after the ship struck an iceberg and was slow­ly sinking, some of the passengers ig­nored the captain's orders to get into the lifeboats.

When the ship finally began tilting dangerously, it was too late. There weren't enough lifeboats for all the pas­sengers and worse still, the Californian, the only other ship in the area (about 10 miles away) made no attempt to reach the wreck. Her radio operator had gone off duty. He, too, wasn't listening. As a result, more than a thousand people needlessly lost their lives.

Wait a minute! Say that again, Doris! . . . you know thepart about, 'If only we had some means of climbing down.'


Listening facts
Listening facts

  • Employees of major North American corporations spend 60% of time listening

  • In committed relationships, listening in everyday conversations is ingredient of satisfaction

  • The ideal manager has ability to listen effectively, according to 1000 human resource executives


Misconceptions about listening
Misconceptions about Listening

  • Listening and Hearing are NOT the same thing

    • Listening is active and mental

    • Hearing is passive and physical

      Listening Process:

      1. Attending – paying attention to a signal

      2. Understanding – making sense of a message

      3. Responding – giving observable feedback

      4. Remembering – Unfortunately, research suggests people only remember 50% immediately after hearing it, only 35% within eight hours and within 2 months only remember 25% of the original message.


Misconceptions about listening cont
Misconceptions about Listening cont.

  • Listening is not a natural process

  • Listening requires effort

  • All listeners do not receive the same message


Challenges of effective listening
Challenges of Effective Listening

  • Unfortunately, people seem to get worse at the skill of listening as they get older:

    • Teachers at various grade levels were asked to stop their lectures periodically and ask students to repeat what the teacher had been saying:

      • 90% of first graders could repeat

      • 80% of second graders could repeat

      • 44% of junior high students could repeat

      • 28% of senior high students could repeat


Faulty listening behaviors
Faulty Listening Behaviors

  • Pseudolistening

  • Selective Listening

  • Defensive Listening

  • Ambushing

  • Insulated Listening

  • Insensitive Listening

  • Stage Hogging

    • Passive or active stage hogging


Reasons for poor listening
Reasons for Poor Listening

  • Effort – heart rate quickens, respiration increases, body temperature rises

  • Rapid thought – we are capable of understanding speech at rates up to 300 wpm, the average person only speaks between 100-140 wpm.

  • Message overload


Reasons for poor listening cont
Reasons for Poor Listening cont.

  • Psychological noise

  • Physical noise

  • Hearing problems

  • Faulty assumptions – heard it all before, information is too simple or complex, information is unimportant


Reasons for poor listening cont1
Reasons for Poor Listening cont.

  • Talking has more apparent advantages – talking allows us to gain more (admiration, respect, liking). One study revealed that men interrupt more than women. Men interrupt to dominate or control conversation. Women interrupt to agree, elaborate on speaker’s idea, or participate in topic.

  • Media Influences – programming consists of short segments


Informational listening
Informational Listening

  • Don’t argue or judge prematurely

  • Separate the message from the speaker

  • Be opportunistic

  • Look for key ideas

  • Ask questions

  • Paraphrase

  • Take notes


Critical listening evaluative listening
Critical Listening (evaluative listening)

  • Listen for information before evaluating

  • Evaluate the speaker’s credibility – Competent? Impartial?

  • Examine the speaker’s evidence

  • Examine emotional appeals – Recent? Quantity? Reliable ? Interpretations?

  • Examine the speaker’s reasoning


Empathic listening styles
Empathic Listening - styles

  • Advising

    • Be confident that advice is correct

    • Ask yourself whether they are willing to accept it

    • Be certain that they won’t blame you if advice doesn’t work


Empathic listening styles1
Empathic Listening - styles

  • Judging evaluates the sender’s thoughts or behaviors

    • The person with the problem should have requested an evaluation

    • Your judgment is genuinely constructive and not designed as a put-down


Empathic listening styles2
Empathic Listening - styles

  • Analyzing – offers an interpretation to a speaker’s message

    • Offer your interpretation in a tentative way

    • Should have a reasonable chance of being right

    • The other person should be receptive to your analysis

    • Motive is truly to help the other


Empathic listening styles3
Empathic Listening- styles

  • Questioning

    • Don’t ask question to satisfy your curiosity

    • Be sure questions won’t confuse or distract

    • Don’t use questions to disguise your suggestions or criticism

  • Supporting - reassuring or encouragement

    • Make sure your expression is sincere

    • Be sure the other will accept your support


Empathic listening styles4
Empathic Listening - styles

  • Prompting – using silences and brief statements of encouragement to draw others out so they can solve their own problems

  • Paraphrasing