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Active Listening

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  1. Active Listening Article by Rogers and Farson Presented by Adam Fleming

  2. “We have been given two ears and but a single mouth, in order that we may hear more and talk less. ” - Zeno the Citum

  3. Active Listening – What is it? • “active” – listener has definite responsibility • Help speaker work out their problems • Way of approaching those day-to-day problems

  4. Authors Carl R. Rogers • M.A. Columbia University • Ph.D. Columbia University, Psychotherapy • Father of humanistic psychology • Known for the person-centered approach (PCA) • Authored over a hundred publications explaining his theory of personality development.

  5. Richard E. Farson • Masters degree University of Minnesota • Ph.D. University of Chicago, psychology • president of Western Behavioral Sciences Institute • became Rogers’ research assistant • intern and counselor at the Counseling Center and a research associate at the Industrial Relations Center.


  6. Active listening • Goal – bring about changes in people • Avoid trying to change point of view • Listen for total meaning • Respond to feelings • Note all cues

  7. Problems • Not easy to acquire • Carries strong element of personal risk • Listener will often hear negative expressions directed at them • Listeners emotions are sometimes barrier • Must be able to listen to oneself before you can listen to others

  8. Organizational goals • Improve productivity • Best practices • Richest untapped source of power available

  9. Reference 1 Knippen, Jay T., Green, Thad B. (Summer 1994) How the Manager Can Use Active Listening. Public Personnel Management, 23, 357-359. • Being an active listener requires 5 steps • Determine when to use active listening • Select appropriate technique • Use technique selected • Evaluate communicators response • Take appropriate action

  10. Management Training

  11. Reference 2 Brownell, Judy (Fall 1990) Perceptions of Effective Listeners: A Management Study. The Journal of Business Communication, 27:4, 401-415. • Researchers know less about listening than speaking, reading or writing • 60 percent of managers communication time is spent listening • Administered a 26 item questionnaire to middle managers and their subordinates in 6 hospitality organizations. • Findings: • Managers over 45 – perceived as poor listeners • Female managers – perceived as better listeners than males • Almost all managers rated themselves as “very good” or “good” listeners • Discrepancy between managers’ self- perception • Direct and frequent feedback is necessary

  12. Survey results

  13. “He who knows does not speak; he who speaks does not know.” - Tao TehChing (56:1)

  14. Reference 3 Ramsey, R D (Nov 2007). The most important skills for today's supervisors.  Supervision, 68, 11. p.3 • Managers have the toughest job in the business world • Takes a myriad of skills to become an effective manager • All good leaders are good listeners • When leader doesn’t listen, followers quit listening to the leader • The most effective supervisors understand that listening is life's greatest teacher • Effective listeners are made, not born. • Listen as defined in the dictionary “to make an effort to hear something…to pay attention; heed”

  15. Conclusion • Decision to listen is up to each manager • Development of listening skills • Listen to all language • Open door policy • Viewed as a good manager, effective leader

  16. Questions / Comments?