Improving Your Listening Skills How to be an Active Listener Active Listening ► Good listening skills are important in school the workplace day-to-day living ► Yet most of us receive very little training in effective listening. ► Take the Effective Listening Quiz! Good Listeners: ► Minimize or remove any barriers to communication that may threaten their effectiveness. ► Physically face towards and pay attention to the speaker. ► Listen for and verbally confirm the speaker's intent or purpose. ► Confirm the content or the speaker's request (the who, what, where, when, why and how). ► Clarify the degree of importance of the request to the speaker. What is the reason, need or urgency of the request? ► Recognize the level of emotion demonstrated by the speaker. ► Summarize and share their understanding of what is being requested. ► Indicate the level of response they will be able to provide. Factors That Hinder Listening ► Many factors hinder our listening. Here are a few examples: Daydreaming. Preparing our responses ahead of time. Thinking about other people, places or things. 7 Ways to Improve Your Listening ► Here are 7 strategies and suggestions to help you improve your listening skills. 1.) Increase your listening span: ► Try to resist the temptation to interrupt. ► Make sure the speaker has had a complete chance to make his or her point before you speak. ► If you don't get the whole message, ask the speaker to repeat what they said. Ways to Improve Your Listening ► 2.) Take time to listen: Don't put obvious limitations on your listening time - the speaker will feel rushed. ► 3.) Listen between the lines: Don't just listen to what is being said. Try to understand the attitudes, needs and motives behind the words. Ways to Improve Your Listening ► 4.) Give your full attention: Nodding or interjecting occasionally to clarify a point lets the speaker know you are interested. If the speaker pauses briefly, don't rush to fill the silence. Use open-ended questions to encourage elaboration. Ways to Improve Your Listening ► 5.) Restate the message: When you are sure that the speaker has finished, restate the main points. This is a good organizing strategy for you. It also gives the speaker assurance that the message has been received. Ways to Improve Your Listening ► 6.) Listen for ideas as well as facts: A good listener makes an effort to understand what the facts add up to. ► 7.) Don't monopolize: Resist the urge to dominate a situation or to feel that you know everything about a situation. Be open to new ideas and allow the speaker to have his or her say. A Listening Quiz ► True or False? 1. The thief was tall, dark, and broad. 2. The professor turned off the lights. 3. A tall figure demanded the examination. 4. The examination was picked up by someone 5. The examination was picked up by the professor. 6. A tall, dark figure appeared after the professor turned off the lights in the office. 7. The man who opened the drawer was the professor. 8. The professor ran down the corridor. 9. The drawer was never actually opened. 10. In this report three persons are referred to.