Chapter 6
“Toward Effective Listening”
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Topics of Discussion
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Why learn about listening
Effectiveness
Time spent
Areas affected
Misconceptions
Process
Factors affecting listening
Using feedback to analyze listening
Kinds of listening/goals
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Section 1 “Understanding
the Listening Process”
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Why Learn About
Listening?
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Most used communication
skill
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Least taught
Least understood
Assumed to develop naturally
Training is generally negative
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Effectiveness
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Immediate = ½
8 hours later lose 1/3 to ½
Retain only 25% of original
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Time Spent
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Writing 9%
Reading 16%
Talking 30%
Listening 45%
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Areas Affected
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School
Relationships
Social groups and organizations
Public dialogue
Workplace
Safety
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Misconceptions
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Listening and hearing are
the same

Hearing is a physical first step in the
listening process, but it doesn’t imply
understanding
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Listening is easy or
automatic
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It is complex and requires energy,
effort, and skill
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Listening develops
naturally
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Consists of learned skills and
behaviors that can be learned,
relearned, improved, and refined
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Anyone can listen well if
they really try
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You can exert effort, but you may not
be able to listen effectively if you lack
the skills or noises can not be
overcome
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The speaker is responsible
for the message and success
of communication
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Speaker and listener share
responsibility
Listener may have to compensate for
speaker’s lack of skill
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If that’s what you heard,
that’s what was said
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Listeners can’t assume they heard
correctly and should use perception
checks
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Attitude and listening are
unrelated
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It’s an important factor in listening and
retaining information
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People remember most of
what they hear
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Listening and remembering are
related, but failure to remember may
not be due to faulty listening
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Process:
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Acquiring
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1.
2.
3.
4.
Pick up stimulus with senses (hearing)
Outer ear acts as antennae and picks up
sound waves
Relayed to middle ear and amplified
Passed to inner ear and transforms
acoustical energy to electrical impulses
Relayed to brain for processing
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Acquiring

1.
2.
3.
Differences distinguishing
Different sound
Levels of volume
Higher and lower pitches
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Acquiring
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1.
Noise and barriers
Loud noises
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Interfere
Can cause hearing loss
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Acquiring
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1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Noise and barriers
Repeated doses of some antibiotics
Chronic ear infections
Conflicting auditory and visual data
Distracting physical movements
Harsh or irritating voice
Attitude and emotions
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Attending
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1.
Choice – not automatic
Selective perception
–
–
–
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Needs
Interests
Attitude
Knowledge
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Attending
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1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Improving skills
Evaluate – determine importance
Adjust attitude
Focus energy on message/ turn off other
thoughts
Determine what can be gained with focus
Ignore distractions
Maintain concentration
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Understanding

1.
Decode
Steps
– Listen carefully
– Filter based on experiences
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Understanding
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1.
Decode
Strategies
– Build vocabulary
– Use perception checks
– Assume responsibility instead of
expecting others to adjust
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Understanding
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1.
2.
Interpret
Self-talk/tell yourself what speaker is
saying
Goes through filter system
– Feelings and needs
3.
Perception check
– Ask questions before finalizing
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Understanding

1.
2.
3.
4.
Strategies
Check filter system
Ask “Is this what they are really saying or
just what I’m hearing?” and “Am I
overlooking any alternatives?”
Ask for more information before finalizing
interpretation
Take responsibility for interpretations and
remain open, flexible, will to adapt and
adjust
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Understanding
Respond
 Emotional – how do you feel about it
 Intellectual – what do you think
about it
 Analyze and evaluate your response
to the message
 Encode choices to say or do
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Understanding
Skills
 Monitor, analyze and evaluate
 Consider possible alternatives
 Decide what’s appropriate – balance
rewards/consequences
 Take responsibility
 Consider all responses and provide
constructive, realistic feedback
 Choose clear words
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Factors Affecting
Listening
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Factors Affecting
Listening
Noise
Barriers
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Factors Affecting
Listening
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1.
Memory
Not always straightforward – can be
selective
– Choose what to remember
– Remember only as we wish to
– Eliminate or suppress certain memories
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Factors Affecting
Listening
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2.
Memory
Types
– Immediate
– Long-term
– Short-term
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Factors Affecting
Listening
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3
Memory
Skills
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–
–
–
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Concentrate as you receive messages
Use calendars, lists or notes
Summarize, rehearse, repeat or write info to
seal it into memory
Form mental associations and organize into
related clusters
Learn new info in small portions – don’t cram
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Using Feedback to
Analyze Listening
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Using Feedback to
Analyze Listening
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1.
2.
3.
Inappropriate feedback
Cannot or did not hear correctly
Listener lacks verbal decoding skills
Interpreted as unrelated,
uninteresting, offensive or irrelevant
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Section 2 “Developing
Listening Skills
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Types of Listening
Active Listening
 Process is transactional
1. Active = better grades than passive
2. = more enjoyment and info, rewards
3. = make fewer mistakes, have better
performance, higher productivity and
increased value as employees
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Types of Listening
Passive listening
 Try to absorb with no transaction
 Easily bored, distracted, give negative
nonverbal feedback
 Generally no rewards
 Place responsibility on speaker
 Lazy listening
 Produces boredom, apathy, lack of interest
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Types of Listening
Impatient listening
 Pay attention in short bursts due to
noise interruptions
 Make mistakes by forgetting details or
instructions
 Give V & NV cues at inappropriate
times
 Masks lack of concentration or interest
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Types of Listening
Impatient listening
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Types
1.
Anticipatory/anticipates what will be said
and plans response
2.
Defensive/goal is to argue or disagree
3.
Combative/goal is to win or put down
4.
Distracted/pays attention to first, assumes
what will be said, starts thinking about
something else
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Goals for Listening
Critical
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Goals for Listening
Critical
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Skills
1.
Identify goal or purpose
2.
Gather info beforehand to build vocabulary
3.
Focus on V and NV messages
4.
Organize info to grasp main idea and supporting
details
5.
Use perception checks
6.
Consciously store into memory bank
7.
Ask questions, give feedback, take action
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Goals for Listening
Deliberative
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Goals for Listening
Deliberative
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Skills
1.
Identify goal or purpose
2.
Gather info beforehand as basis for
judgment
3.
Listen specifically to evaluate
4.
Identify supporting info and use of
emotional appeal
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Goals for Listening
Deliberative
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Skills
1.
Observe V & NV cues to evaluate attitudes
and feelings. Determine if they support or
conflict
2.
Analyze motivation or intent
3.
Reflect on your responses
4.
Give feedback – delay action if needed
5.
Reserve judgment if unsure of facts
6.
Make decision when info is sufficient
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Goals for Listening
Empathic
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Goals for Listening
Empathic
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Skills
1.
Observe NV to analyze feeling speaker has for
listener and context
2.
Monitor understanding of speaker, message and
situation
3.
Analyze own responses, biases, prejudices and
feeling toward speaker, message or context
4.
Use perception checks
5.
Paraphrase
6.
Ask questions to help speaker clarify meaning
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Goals for Listening
Appreciative
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Goals for Listening
Appreciative
 Listen for fun, to imagine or extend
creativity
 Most often used in social situations
 Used to relax or escape everyday
stress
 Can inspire and provide personal
growth
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Goals for Listening
Appreciative
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Skills to listen for enjoyment
1.
Consider experiences to expand knowledge
2.
Investigate styles, formats, etc
3.
Be familiar with background or critiques of
performers
4.
Avoid distractions
5.
Avoid judgment until performance is complete
6.
Respond appropriately to ideas, feelings and skills
of performers
7.
Give appropriate feedback
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Using the Four Goals
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Identify goal needed for situation
Set goal
Consider relationship with others
Use memory technique
Keep an open mind
Be interactive
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What This Means to You
Listening isn’t easy or automatic. It
takes effort and hard work. You have
to set goals, and choose your style.
The rewards for listening are great;
the consequences of not listening can
be fatal.
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Chapter 6 - Ector County Independent School District