Communication (Aspects of Listening) RM0026 1 hour.


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Communication (Aspects of Listening) RM0026 1 hour.

  1. 1. 1 RM0026 COMMUNICATION (ASPECTS OF LISTENING) SAFETY AND HEALTH CLASS Risk Management Houston Fire Department Risk Management Safety and Health Risk Management – Communication (Aspects of Listening) Houston Fire Department – February 2003
  2. 2. 2 RM0026 INSTRUCTIONS FOR THIS LESSON The officer or designee shall print up the monthly CE class. Each member will be given an opportunity to read over the material prior to group discussion and a group test pertaining to “Communication (Aspects of Listening).” Each member shall turn in the completed test at the end of the lesson. What is needed for this lesson? 1. Printout of RM class 2. Printout of RM test, one per member 3. Printout of RM answers At the end of this lesson firefighters should: • Understand what the four distinct steps are in the listening process. • Understand the importance of word barriers and emotional barriers that affect effective listening. • Understand how the five keys to improved listening can improve your communication skills. INTRODUCTION The Houston Fire Department continuing education for January 2003 focused on “CREW RESOURCE MANAGEMENT”. In this document, characteristics of good team communication were provided. One of the characteristics identified was good listening skills. In your profession you must have good communication skills. Have you ever consider, what would be the cost of not listening? It would probably be difficult to estimate accurately how many accidents poor listening has caused. Perhaps the fire fighter was distracted when the captain discussed the hazards of the job and how to avoid them. Or perhaps the captain did not carefully listen when the fire fighter mentioned a problem that occurred on the last job. The fact is that a better understanding of a problem by all involved can reduce accident potential. Risk Management – Communication (Aspects of Listening) Houston Fire Department – February 2003
  3. 3. 3 RM0026 STEPS IN THE LISTENING PROCESS: According to the National Safety Council, there are four distinct steps in the listening process. 1. Sensing. The first step is purely mechanical. Did the listener hear the words that were spoken? If he or she can repeat the sense of the words, this step has taken place. 2. Interpreting. How did the listener interpret or understand the words spoken? Do the words mean the same to both speaker and listener? 3. Evaluating. At this step the listener determines whether he or she agrees with what has been said. Remember that before evaluation occurs, understanding must take place. 4. Responding. The listener responds to the message. The response may be a simple nod or shake of the head or a verbal “I see”. Before expressing a lengthier response, the listener should be certain that the speaker has finished a particular point. BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE LISTENING: There are many factors that keep us from listening as well as we should. Let’s focus on the two most common types-word barriers and emotional barriers. 1. Word Barriers. Hearing certain words can shut off our ability to concentrate on what else is being said. For example, the word “grievance” is a turn-off word for some individuals because it may remind them of a disturbing work related issue. When that turn-off word is heard, the listener may stop listening for 15 seconds to 15 minutes. To improve your listening ability, you must discover your turnoff words, realize why these words affect you, and work to overcome the problem. You are the only one who Risk Management – Communication (Aspects of Listening) Houston Fire Department – February 2003
  4. 4. 4 RM0026 can reduce the effects of turn-off words on your listening ability. 2. Emotional Barriers. When a person becomes angry, he or she concentrates on the source of the anger, rather than on what is being said. The listener’s emotions are blocking the listener from listening. Other emotions include hate, fear, suspicion, jealously, overenthusiasm, and distrust. By keeping emotions under control, we can do a lot to improve listening skills. FIVE KEYS TO IMPROVED LISTENING: According to Dr. Robert G. Insley, Associate Professor in the Department of Management at the University of North Texas, a substantial difference exists between the rate at which people speak and the rate at which they listen. Most people speak at a rate of approximately 125 to 160 words per minute. Consequently, only 25 percent of what was said is heard and remembered. You can do a lot to improve your listening skills by making the maximum use of this time differential. According to the NSC there are five areas to help you improve your listening. 1. Stop Talking. In two way communications, when you are the listener, stop talking so that you can listen to all that is being said 2. Empathize. Put yourself in the other person’s place. If you do this, you are able to get a better understanding of why he or she feels a certain way. 3. Maintain Eye Contact. This will help you to concentrate on what is being said and shows the speaker that you are listening. 4. Share Responsibility for Communication. The “receiver” is just as responsible as the “sender” for good communication. Risk Management – Communication (Aspects of Listening) Houston Fire Department – February 2003
  5. 5. 5 RM0026 5. Clarify. When listening, if you do not understand any part of the message, be sure to ask questions until the meaning is clear. SUMMARY: Remember that communication involves not only what you send or say but also how well you receive or listen. If there is no understanding, then we have failed to communicate. Two-way, face-to-face communication is the best way to convey a messages on the job.. TEST Risk Management – Communication (Aspects of Listening) Houston Fire Department – February 2003