Listening is an activity that all too open take for granted. After all we have been listening too others since birth with amount of practice. Since listening take up much of our daily life-estimates run as high as 45% of our communication time spent in attending to what other say, we should be proficient at it by now.
The important of effective listening cannot be overestimated, in general listening to others is the means by which we understand ourselves better learn what other is the expect of us and obtain the information and ideas necessary to make informed decision. Listening is central to the process of presenting ideas orally. For example effective listening skills are essential in the workplace.
This chapter will discuss listening behavior in general, as it functions within the classroom and other context.
Type of effective listening behavior
At the most general level, two discrete types of listening behavior can be identified. First all listening aims at comprehension. At listener can mentally handle more than 400 spoken words per minute, yet the average speaker product between 125 and 175 words per minute, thus the listener needs only about 20 to 25 seconds of every minute to comprehend what the speaker saying.
The second attribute of all listening activity is that is a transactional process. Whether in the speech classroom or in a meeting, listening is the conduit through which speakers reach their audiences. The conduit works to the speaker. Listeners can provide three types of feed back: direct feedback in the form of verbal or written comment: indirect feedback as in nods, laughs, for was, and other non-verbal sign that a person is or is not under standing or accepting a message, and delayed feedback such as when classroom speakers are graded by their peers and/or the instructor on their performance.
Empathy involves putting oneself in the place of another seeing an event from his or her perspective and coming as close as possible to understanding his or her feelings or attitudes. The most common context for emphatic listening is in therapeutic settings. In therapeutic listening, the auditor (as single listener) acts as a sounding board for the speaker as that person talk through a problem, work out a difficult situation or express deep emotional stress or confusion. Therapeutic listening is not confined to professional people, such as teachers, lawyers, or psychiatrist.
Equally important occasions for listening with empathy occur in times of joy, as when someone wants to tell others about a new love, a new baby, a promotional at work or an award at school, people seek others both in times of problems and in time of promise, in therapeutic listening, special social bonding between the speaker and listener occurs, the speaker audience relationship.
Whereas empathic listeners attend to a person as a result of what is said, critical listeners attend directive to the message .to what is being communicated. If may be easier to understand the dimensions of critical listening by considering what is it not. First the opposite of critical listening is passive listening .as you listen to a lecture, your attention to thee primary message is passive if you do not think about analyze the ideas being offered. If what is said has important implication for you beliefs or action (such as having to take a test on the material in the near future) your passivity could have negative consequences.
Sound critical listening is not negative listening the goal is not necessarily to attack what is being said. Rather is listening, in order to retrain the option of critique by knowing what is said and how you wish to respond to it, thus critical listening demands that auditors become fully engaged with the message not simply in order to understand it, but to interpret it, to judge its strengths and weaknesses, and to assign its worth. Practice listening critically when you evaluate commercials for their valves or false claim. When listening at or delay action on a project or to offer praise or blame whit respect to on idea consequences a person’s actions or on event’s significance.
There are two predominant types of critical listening, appreciative and discriminative listening. The primary purpose of appreciative listening is to judge the esthetic value of what is heard. Whether a speech, a dramatic play, a musical, or a jazz assemble performance.
Another reason for appreciative listening is to access a public event. Such as an inauguration the dedicated of a new building or statue, or other festive occasions.
STRATEGIES FOR EFFECTIVE LISTENING
This section also will suggest ways to improve listening skills through on analysis of self, speaker, and message.
Listener Analysis of Self
To become a better listener, you first must identify your listening habit and preference you internal desire to listen and think about them in term of their productivity. Have they enabled you to listen as well as you should? When listening well was easy, and when you understood and recalled the most important parts of the message.
You also should think about your listening preferences to prepare a communication transaction, you must determine your purpose in listening, in receiving advice, for instance, consider the personal importance of the message and attend to it accordingly. After assessing your listening behavior, you can begin to correct habits that have proven infective by preparing to listen. Before you enter a communication event, ask your self the following questions.
Try setting aside your personal feelings or attitudes about the topic and give the speaker a chance to develop the message to its fullest. As long as you control the process of comparative analysis by mentally checking off items and returning to the presentation, you have a basic for evaluating the worth of the idea. As you hear words that bring up thoughts that are irrelevant to the occasion, resist the temptation to contemplate their significance.
Be realistic in setting your personal exceptions, if the speaker is a classmate, chance are that she or he is not an authority on the topic but has done sufficient research to offer a fairy complete summary of what experts are saying. If you expect only to increase your understanding of the markets operation, your reason for listening will more closely match what the speaker can provide. If you can anticipate the length of speech, you will do a better job of controlling your listening behavior, if you are attending a lecture you should be prepared for a presentation that will last at least an hour.
Furthermore does the situation call for an evaluation of the performances worth, as is appreciative listening or will you expected to make decisions on the basis of the presentation. As in discriminative listening, if it is possible to listen in relative isolation from others. Your chance of being able to concrete on a message. Listening alone instead of with a group will help you concentrate and there by improve your comprehension and retention of the message.
How appropriate is the timing of the message? To the extent that timing if favorable, or you can exert some control over it, your experience of the event will be more positive and your willingness to listen will be enhanced.
Listener analysis of the speaker
Speaking does not occur in the vacuum; both speaker and listener bring personal experiences to the communication environment. In doing so, the listener not only attends to the message the speaker transmits but also considers the speaker’s credibility.
What do I know or think about this speaker? Whether for good or ill, the speaker reputation influences your reaction to the message. If previous experiences in listening to the speaker were favorable, you more likely to respond positively to a new accouter. if you agree with the speakers positions on political issues, you are more highly motivated to listen then if you disagree.
How believable is the speaker? Answer to the question tends to be based on previews experiences with the speaker or on advance information. If you know that the speaker has misled listener previous occasion, you might expect similar treatment. You can adjust your listening habits to be alert for unsupported conclusions, incomplete statements of fact, or inaccurate assertions. When you listen this way, be especially careful to connect the “error” to the main points being presented. Simply pointing out the inaccuracy of the information is not sufficient to weaken the claims itself, unless you are certain the audience has already made the connection.
Is the speaker responsive to your needs? If the speaker has done her or his job well, there will be element in the speech that meek your expectations, provide the information you seek, or satisfy your general desire to listen. A speaker’s lack of responsiveness will lessen your attentiveness. For example if the current president of the United State were visiting your campus, would you expect him to discuss current national issues? If instead, he spent his entire speech extolling the achievements of his administration. A speaker in such a situation who does not invite your close attention to what is being said. Your interest in listening is tied closely to whether the speaker is meeting your personal needs.
What is the speaker’s attitude toward this presentation? They asses whether a message is worthy of attention is part by attitudes the speaker projects through both verbal and nonverbal cues. Repeat the central points to yourself as a means of ignoring the destructions, or try taking notes on main points to focus more precisely on the ideas as they are developed.
Listener Analysis of the Message
The message is the speaker’s product the raison d’ etre (reason for being) for the speech occasion, the message provides information gives advice, or urges decision making or action, as such; the message is the principal focus of your attention.
What are the main ideas of speech? Try to discover the speaker purpose, usually these can be found by determining the speech’s central idea or claim and identifying the main ideas used as explanation or support. The main ideas serve as the building block on which the speaker constructs the speech.
How are the principal ideas arranged? The answer to this question will help you identify and later recall the main ideas. This takes the guess work out of determining where the speaker will go next in the development of the speech and makes it easier to outline it in your own notes.
There are several approaches to the study of listening behavior, some of these focuses on theoretical model of the processes involved. Goss, for example, take an information processing approach to listening. There are three stages to the models
1. signal processing, transmitting the message to the listening. This stage becomes problematic only if the speech is unclear or poorly spoken or the language being used is unfamiliar to listening.
2. literal processing, taking the words in the message at face value in assessing their probable meaning. It is the first stage of meaning of assessment, and it focuses on the denotative meaning of word used.
3. reflective processing, listening to evaluate, it goes beyond the literal stage to determine what else may be contained in the message for instance, inferences, motives, and speaker credibility.
In a recent study, Beatty, and Payne connected this model of listening to the concept of cognitive complexity, which refers to the vanity of different thoughts of stimulus produces in the mind, they found that as complexity increases one participation. In determinative listening, the goal is to evaluate to the reasons being offered through the message either to believe and idea or to act on the basic of proposal. The discriminative process involves drawing inferences about stated and unstated matters about what speaker are really saying, about the cogency of the claims being advanced by listening carefully to what the speakers is claiming and to reason he or she offers for the claim, you will have a basis for determine this reasonableness.
Another approach to listening research has focused on emphatic is critical listening skills and has examined the impersonal situation to the employment interview a setting you may already have had some experience with for example, a study bay mo comb and goblin focus on the degree of empathy placement center as they conducted initial interview with prospective employees.