Why do we listen?• To gain information.• To get feed back.• To participate in another’s story.• To hear of their experiences and insights.• To be in control(information is power)• To broaden our horizons(to learn)• To create a relationship.• To respect and value others.
Why don’t we listen?• Hearing is by ears and ‘listening’ is by mind.• Impediments to listening: Filtering -gender,age,size,invasion of body space, foul language,lack of, education,hostility,timidity bad grammar,poor enunciation,body odor, poor table manners, rudeness,laziness etc. Imprecision -administrative aide to set up a computer spread sheet but added research data also. Inattention -vagabond mind,reasons- anxiety,boredom,variations in speed,other priorities.
• Mismatching –failures cut both ways,the speaker fails to match,the listener fails to grasp and responds inappropriately.It takes two to fail at a conversation.Age difference leads to vocabulary mismatches, different aims, conceptual differences.• Inflexibility-when you listen, you don’t talk.• Other negative listening behaviours.• Closes eyes• Glazes at the wall or ceiling• Glares at the speakers• Clicks the pen up and down• Uses cell phone• Whispers
Listening techniques that work• Listen to body language and other non verbal cues .• Listen precisely- avoid paraphrasing the message and seek instead to preserve and record the speakers exact words. It ensures accuracy, fosters civility, increases vocabulary,enhances retention,provides permanent records, focuses attention,helps follow structure, clarifies direction,enhances your professional stature.
• Repeat – let me repeat exactly what you said , this will help us serve you better, you seem to have said.• Empathize- means identification with and understanding of another’s situation.You don’t judge, advise, or instruct but reflect sympathetically. Focus on the feeling of the speaker.e.g..you seem so distressed, that must have upset you.• Clarify – clarification questions go beyond repetition. They seek expansion of the message heard. Please explain what does empowerment mean? This term productivity needs explanation.
• Probe – for additional information.please give me the details,what, who,where ,when.• Listen Instructionally- responds to direct the discussion while validating the comment.e.g. thank you for raising the issue of empowerment• There is communication even in silence - how to listen, when to listen.
POSITIVE IMPACT OF POSITIVE LISTENINGAccentuate the positivesHow do you feel when someone really listens to you?RespectedCared forThat you’ve gained rapportRewardedSatisfiedSense of achievementPositive feelings:Increased productivityStronger working relationshipBetter quality of workGreater customer satisfaction
Repeat businessEasier and better problem solvingGreater cooperation and team workLess stress Listening is a powerful means of communication that can increaseyour effectiveness on the job.THE THREE STAGES OF THE LISTENING PROCESSStage one - receiving: you take in the speakers message through yoursenses, hearing and seeing.Stage two - processing: this activity takes place in your mind andinvolves analyzing, evaluating, and synthesizing. Great deal ofconcentration is needed. “What does the speaker mean?”Stage three - responding: the speaker sees and hears what the listenerdoes. The speaker feels respected and understood by the listener,connection is made and productivity goes up.
DO’S• Do –concentrate on what the speaker is saying• Maintain eye contact• Smile and nod appropriately• Concentrate on speakers main idea• Don’t antagonise the speaker• Leave your emotions behind• React to ideas not to persons• Avoid hasty judgements• Ask questions• Avoid jumping to conclusions• Recognise your own prejudice• Give accurate feedback• Listen more talk less
PITFALLS• Appearance and delivery• Separating ideas from facts• Interrupting• Pretending• Distraction• Switching off• Doing something else• Sarcasm• Dishonesty
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