Listening Habit

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Art of Listening

Text of Listening Habit

Listening Habit

Cut and paste from these slides to make your own presentation (references can be found on the last slide)

What is listening?

Defining listeningAsk the questions: What does it feel like to really listen to someone else? What does it feel like when someone really listens to you?Burley-Allen, M (1995)

What is listening? Taking in information from speakers, other people or ourselves, while remaining non-judgemental and empathetic Acknowledging the talker in a way that invites the communication to continue Providing limited, but encouraging, input to the talkers response, carrying the persons idea one step forward

Burley-Allen, M (1995)

What is listening? Receptive: Receiving what the speaker actually says Constructive: Constructing and representing meaning Collaborative: Negotiating meaning with the speakerand responding

Transformative: Creating meaning throughinvolvement, imagination and empathyRost, M (2002)

What is listening? Receiving information through your ears (and eyes) Giving meaning to that information Deciding what you think (or feel) about that information Responding to what you hearBonet, D (2001)

What is listening?To listen fully means to pay close attention to what isbeing said beneath the words. You listen not only to the music, but to the essence of the person speaking. You listen not only for what someone knows, but for what he or she is. Ears operate at the speed of sound, which is far slower than the speed of light the eyes take in. Generative listening is the art of developing deeper silences in yourself, so you can slow our minds hearing to your ears natural speed, and hear beneath the words to their meaning.Peter Senge.

Why is listening important?

Listening is important because . . . Since the rise of the radio and the development of television, the spoken word has regained much of its lost stature (Bryant). Being listened to means we are taken seriously, our ideas and feelings are known, and, ultimately, what we have to say matters (Nichols). Generous listening enhances our own well-being and is the natural perspective of psychology, in which all human behavior is seen as motivated by the agendas of the self (Nichols).

Listening is important because . . .cont We learn our culture largely through listening; we learn to think by listening; we learn to love by listening; we learn about ourselves by listening (Robinson). Being listened to spells the difference between feeling accepted and feeing isolated (Nichols). In our society, listening is essential to the development and survival of the individual (Robinson).

Listening is important because . . .cont

Most people will not really listen or pay attention to your point of view until they become convinced you have heard and appreciate theirs (Nichols).

Listening habits (good and bad)

It is the listener, not the talker, who holds the most power and control in a conversationBarker L & Watson K, 2000

10 Irritating Listening Habits1. Interrupting the speaker. 2. Not looking at the speaker. 3. Rushing the speaker and making him feel that hes wasting the listeners time. 4. Showing interest in something other than the conversation. 5. Getting ahead of the speaker and finishing her thoughts.

10 Irritating Listening Habits cont6. Not responding to the speakers requests. 7. Saying, Yes, but . . ., as if the listener has made up his mind. 8. Topping the speakers story with That reminds me. . . or Thats nothing, let me tell you about. . . 9. Forgetting what was talked about previously. 10. Asking too many questions about details.Barker L & Watson K, 2000

10 Poor Listening Habits1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Calling the subject uninteresting Criticizing the speaker &/or delivery Getting over-stimulated Listening only for facts (bottom line) Not taking notes or outlining everything

10 Poor Listening Habits contFaking attention Tolerating or creating distractions Tuning out difficult material Letting emotional words block the message 10. Wasting the time difference between speed of speech and speed of thought 6. 7. 8. 9.Nichols & Stevens (1957)

Typical Student Listening HabitsBad habit1. Calling a subject dull. A poor listener will "turn off" as soon as s/he decides a lecture is going to be dull. (Such a decision is usually based on ignorance rather than knowledge.) 2. Criticizing a speaker. A poor listener will find fault with the speaker (i.e., monotonous voice) and infer that the speaker can't have anything important to say. 3. Over-reacting. A poor listener will become so involved in disagreeing with the lecturer that s/he will miss most of the lecture.

Good habit1. A good listener will listen closely for information that can be important or useful, even in a seemingly dull presentation. 2. A good listener will look beyond the presentation style. S/he will look for ideas, not things to criticise.

3. A good listener will listen with the mind, not with the emotions....

Typical Student Listening HabitsBad habit4. Listening for facts only. A poor listener wants only facts and considers the "big picture" as nothing more than someone else's opinion. 5. False attention. A poor listener will lock his/her eyes onto the speaker and then relax, expecting to retrieve information out of the text later, during study time. 6. Yielding to distractions. A poor listener will use every distraction -footsteps, a door opening, a cough -as an excuse to stop listening.


Good habit4. A good listener wants to see how facts illustrate principles, how examples illustrate ideas, and how evidence supports arguments. 5. A good listener realises that each lecture is an opportunity to absorb (in a short time) facts and ideas that the speaker took hours to assemble. 6. A good listener disciplines her or himself to shut out distractions and to concentrate on the speaker's message.

Typical Student Listening HabitsBad habit7. Limited lecture notes. A poor listener will neglect to take notes of main ideas and details. 8. Few review sessions. a poor listener will neglect to review lecture notes periodically prior to testing. 9. Disregard questions asked by speaker during the lecture.


Good habit7. A good listener will take notes as a reminder of key main ideas and details of what was said. 8. A good listener will review notes soon after the lecture ends to ascertain clarity of notes. 9. A good listener will note down all speaker's questions from lecture in the margins as possible questions for a later test.Adapted from Salisbury University, USA

Good listening habits for students Develop a consumer-wise and positive attitude - make the most of your investment. Sit near the front of the class where you can easily see and hear the lecturer. Review previous class notes, assignments, and texts before you go to class. Stay alert focus attention and resist daydreaming. Use an efficient note taking system.

Good listening habits for students Ask questions to help you clarify concepts.


Focus on the content of what the teacher says, not the delivery. Listen for the main points of the lecture and try to determine future test questions. Be responsive.

Good listening habits for studentsTake advantage of the speed of thought: mentally summarise main points, look for underlying assumptions, anticipate what is coming, evaluate the evidence that is being given,


compare and contrast the ideas with your knowledge.

This is active, critical listening.Adapted from: Texas A&M University Student Counselling Service

Reasons for poor listening Not focusing on the message. Passive listeners. A physical communication setting that works against listening. Listeners own needs that may compete with the speakers ideas. Unfamiliar language. Preset ideas about the topic, the speaker, or the occasion. Ehninger, Douglas, et al. (1986)

Types of listening skills

Types of listening Appreciative listening Discriminative listening Therapeutic listening Listening for comprehension Critical listeningWolvin and Coakley in Ehninger, Douglas, et al. (1986)

ReferencesEhninger, Douglas, et al. Principles and Types of Speech Communication. 9th Ed. Glenview, IL: Scott, Forseman and Co., 1986

The statistics

Time spent listeningCommunication

6% % % spe ing listening iting e ing %

A stu y b c in the s sho e th t people listen pe cent of the time they spen communic ting.

Wilt (


Some interesting statistics How much of what we know have we learned by listening? 85 (Shorpe) What amount of the time are we distracted, preoccupied or forgetful? 75 (Hunsaker) How much do we usually recall immediately after listening to someone talk? 50 (Robinson) What amount of time do we spend listening? 45 (Robinson) How much of what we hear do we remember? 20 (Shorpe) How many people have had formal educational experience with listening? less than 2 (Gregg)International Listening Association

and some other numbers We listen at 125-250 words per minute, but think at 1000-3000 words per minute. (HighGain, Inc.) Number of business studies that indicate that listening is a top skill needed for success in business? more than 35 (HighGain, Inc.)International Listening Association

References Barker, L & Watson, K (2000) Listen Up: How to Improve Relationships, Reduce Stress, and Be More Productive by Using the Power of Listening, St Martins Press Bonet, D (2001) The Business of Listening, 3rd Edition, Thomson Burley-Allen, M (1995) Listening the Forgotten Skill, John Wiley & Sons Inc, Page 3. Ehninger, Douglas, et al. (1986) Principles and Types of Speech Communication. 9th