Listening We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. ~ Epictetus
Of the time spent communicating each day, 45% is devoted to listening. • Usually a person only remembers about 50%of what is said to them. • After eight hours they forget another 1/2 to 1/3 of what was originally grasped. ? So that means you typically forget about 75% of what you hear.
Definition of Listening: It is a physical and psychological process that involves acquiring, assigning meaning, and responding to symbolic messages from others.
Why is listening important? • Listening will help you in… • School • Relationships • Social groups & organizations • Making informed decisions • On the job
FACT or FICTION?? Listening and hearing are the same thing. Hearing is the first step but doesn’t mean you understand what you hear. Listening is easy. Listening is a complex process that requires energy, effort, and skills. Listening develops naturally. Learned skills and behaviors that can be improved. Anyone can listen well if he or she really tries. Without needed skills, may not be able to listen effectively.
The speaker is primarily responsible for the message sent. Speaker and listener share the responsibility. A listener may have to make up for a sender’s lack of ability. If that’s what I heard, then that’s what you said! Cannot assume you have understood messages correctly. Must clarify as necessary. Attitude and listening are unrelated. Attitude is a very important factor. People remember most of what they hear. Listening and memory are related, but not remembering may or may not be related to faulty listening.
Steps in the listening process You first respond emotionally, then intellectually. Then you decide how to respond. Your knowledge, attitudes, values, beliefs and self-concept influences your perception. Responding Listener’s internal emotional and intellectual reaction to a message. Your own needs, interests, attitudes, and knowledge affects your choice to pay attention. Understanding Decoding and assigning personal meaning to the message. Not everyone hears the same way. Men actually prefer certain frequencies. Attending The act of choosing consciously or subconsciously to focus attention on the message. Acquiring Usually involves hearing which is the reception of sound.
Factors that affect the listening process • Noise – Internal and external distractions • Examples: outside sounds, distracting thoughts • Barriers – Blocks listening/understanding. • Unfamiliar language, anger, attitudes, biases, needs, beliefs, fear, hearing problems, tuning out, stress, ignorance, prejudices, tired. • Memory – 3 types • Immediate – Recalling information for a brief period of time. • Short term – Recalling information for carrying out a routine or daily task. • Long term – Recalling information from past experience.
Listening for fun. Used when listening to lectures in class. Used in social situations like concerts, plays or sporting events. Used when listening to announcements or getting directions. Critical Appreciative Goal is enjoyment and helps a person to relax. Used when you need to remember something important. Listening to enjoy or appreciate a speaker’s message or performance. Listening to comprehend ideas and information in order to achieve a specific purpose or goal. Kinds of Listening Listening to understand, participate and enhance a relationship. Listening to understand, analyze, and evaluate messages. Usually used in interactions between two people or a small group. Used when receiving and evaluating persuasive messages. Goal is to develop understanding and appreciation of the meanings & feelings of sender. Empathetic Use when you must make decisions. Deliberative You try to put yourself in another person’s place, but not necessarily agree with them. It should make you think.
Did you know?? • The average person speaks at a rate of about 150 words per minute. • Listeners, however, can understand messages presented at a rate of 380 words per minute. • Often that “lag” time causes listeners to let their minds wander. • You have to learn to focus your attention on the message.
How can you listen better? • Apply what you hear to yourself. • Relate the information to your personal experience. • Use your own knowledge to understand new information. • Imagine using the information in the future. • Think as you listen • Summarize and review throughout the presentation. • Start thinking of questions you want to ask the speaker later. • Predict the speaker’s direction, but do not jump to conclusions. • If prediction is wrong, decide what misled you. • Use associations andmnemonic devices to remember important details. • Make an association – a vivid mental image – that will help you remember. • Picture things in your mind – “see it” • Use mnemonic devices – rhyme, acronym, etc.
Techniques for Active Listening • Take notes • Do not write every word or quotation verbatim. Use your own words (paraphrase); focus on key phrases. • Use the same method for taking notes. • Give the speaker and yourself feedback • Use body language such as eye contact or a nod to show that you are listening. • Courteously comment or ask questions when the speaker gives you the opportunity to do so. • Always assess your response. Were you impressed, irritated, or neutral? Why?
What kind of listener are you? • Active listener – The listener participates fully in the communication process. You listen attentively, provide feedback, and strive to understand and remember messages. • Passive listener – The listener does not actively participate in interactions. They think they can absorb information even when they do not contribute to the interaction. They place the responsibility for successful communication on the speaker. • Impatient listener – Short bursts of active listening are interrupted by noise and other distractions. They intend to pay attention, but allow their minds to wander.
Seven Common Roadblocks to Listening • 1. Tuning out dull topics. • Many listeners decide early on that a topic is simply not interesting. However, it has been said that there are no uninteresting subjects, only uninterested people. Don’t be a lazy listener! • Remedy – Listen for something you want or need. You can always find something of value in what another person is saying. • 2. Faking attention. • It’s no sin to be courteous, but sometimes we take manners to an unfortunate extreme. When we find someone’s conversation boring, but are too polite (or afraid) to risk offending the person, we pretend to pay attention, though our minds are a thousand miles away. • Remedy – Sincerely pay attention. Lean forward, maintain good eye contact, react in a natural way with smiles or nods, ask questions. Good listening is not passive – it takes energy to listen!
Seven Common Roadblocks to Listening • 3. Yielding to distractions. • Outside noises or movements often affect our concentration. A window drops shut, someone sneezes, a book falls to the floor. All too often, we give our attention to the hubbub of activity around us instead of the speaker in front of us. • Remedy – Choose a suitable environment to have conversations. Learn to ignore the distractions and don’t become a distraction. • 4. Criticizing delivery or physical appearance. • Many people abandon their good listening habits when they become overly critical of the speaker’s physical appearance or delivery. Regardless of who the speaker is, the content of his/her message is always far more important than the form of his/her delivery. • Remedy – Pay attention to what is said, not how. Be generous enough to overlook difficulties the speaker is having.
Seven Common Roadblocks to Listening • 5. Jumping to conclusions. • Be patient. We often think that we know what a person is going to say before they have even finished speaking. Occasionally, we are biased toward a speaker and so we close our minds to the speaker’s message before we have heard it in its entirety. • Remedy – Don’t judge before you have heard the whole message. Hear the speaker out. Understand their point of view fully before accepting or rejecting it. • 6. Interrupting. • Do you spend most of your listening time actually listening or do you spend it thinking about what you want to say? Interrupting someone is an almost certain sign that you don’t know or care about what the other person is saying. • Remedy – Take time to think about what is being said before responding. Wait for an opening. Put yourself in their shoes.
Seven Common Roadblocks to Listening • 7. Overreacting to emotional words. • We will react from time to time to certain words or phrases that push our “hot buttons.” At such times, we might experience a strong emotional reaction that blocks out your ability to listen. We might let our thoughts wander on to other subjects, blocking the speaker’s message from our minds, or we might start to lay plans to trap the speaker in some way. • Remedy – Stay calm. Finish listening. Don’t let a mere symbol for something stand between you and learning. Think before responding.