Listening Activity


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Listening Activity

  1. 1. MCG - Human Resources Training and Education Effective Listening Expressing our wants, feelings, thoughts, and opinions clearly and effectively is only half of the communication process. The other half is listening and understanding what others communicate to us. While listening has always been important, today proactive listening is imperative for organizations and individuals to succeed. Proactive listening is conscious and deliberate. It requires heightened sense of awareness to gain valuable information. As we prepare to listen we are sometimes faced with challenges. It can be challenging to listen when you are friends, when you think alike, or with your co-workers, because each of us is different, with different life experiences, family history, cultural background and perceptions. Purpose This course will help you enhance your ability to listen more effectively without making assumptions or expectations about how a conversation should go. This course will break down the components necessary to be a good listener, and also provide techniques for managing conversations. Learning Objectives At the completion of this course, you will be able to: • Determine your own listening pitfalls. • Recognize the keys to effective listening. • Identify some tips to listen more effectively. Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking. -Bernard Baruch Effective Listening -2-
  2. 2. MCG - Human Resources Training and Education Time Spent Communicating Listening Speaking Reading Writing *** According to the 1996 study by the Dynamics of Human Behavior, a nationally recognized organization specializing in the improvement of communication whose clients include IBM, GTE and DuPont. . Hearing vs. Listening Hearing is an auditory function of the ear  Physical process  Natural  Passive Listening is understanding what you have heard  Physical, mental and active process  Learned process  A skill Effective Listening -3-
  3. 3. MCG - Human Resources Training and Education Communication Types What percentage would you say you communicate by …? 10% 35% 55% ______________________ Body Language ______________________ Tone of Voice ______________________ Words Communication Cues that Contribute to Effective Listening Verbal Vocal Visual Verbal Cues Think before you speak Avoid Hot Button Words Choose to Use the Most Important Words One - _________________________ Two - _________________________ Three - ________________________ Vocal Cues Rate of Speech ____________________________________________________________________ _ Vocal Cues Pitch ____________________________________________________________________ _ Volume ____________________________________________________________________ _ Effective Listening -4-
  4. 4. MCG - Human Resources Training and Education Tone ____________________________________________________________________ _ Visual Cues Facial Expressions ____________________________________________________________________ _ Head Movements ____________________________________________________________________ _ Gestures ____________________________________________________________________ _ Spatial Relationships ____________________________________________________________________ _ Attire ____________________________________________________________________ _ Sources of Difficulty by the Speaker • Voice volume too low to be heard. • Making the message too complex. • Getting lost, forgetting your point or the purpose of the interaction. • Body language or nonverbal elements contradicting or interfering with the verbal message. • Paying too much attention to how the other person is taking the message. • Using a very unique code or unconventional method for delivering the message. Effective Listening -5-
  5. 5. MCG - Human Resources Training and Education Sources of Difficulty by the Listener • Being preoccupied and not listening. • Being so interested in what you have to say that you listen mainly to find an opening to get the floor. • Formulating and listening to your own rebuttal while the speaker is talking. • Only listening to your own personal beliefs about what is being said. • Evaluating and making judgments about the speaker or the message. • Not asking for clarification when you know that you do not understand. Determine Your Goal for Listening  To exchange information  To build a working relationship  To feel good  To make someone else feel good ***Effective listeners are fully conscious of making a decision each time they decide to talk or let someone else talk. Why be a good listener?  To be recognized and remembered  To feel valued  To feel appreciated Effective Listening -6-
  6. 6. MCG - Human Resources Training and Education  To feel respected  To feel understood  To feel comfortable about a want or need Listening Pitfalls Read the list of pitfalls and place a check mark in the box next to any of your personal pitfalls p I approach important listening situations without clearing my mind. I I engage in other activities while I am listening. I I assume I know what others will say and tune out as a result. I I finish sentences for others when they stumble or pause. I I form a rebuttal in my mind while others are talking. I I ignore nonverbal cues such as voice, tone, posture, and pace. I I listen for specific facts rather than broad ideas. I I fidget when people speak to slowly. I I daydream when others are talking. I I use the same response repeatedly (“right” “uh-huh”) in place of listening. I I use body language that does not encourage body language. Pitfalls Internal Distractions • Memories of earlier conversations or meetings • Expectations • Attitude • Values • Prejudice/ Bias • Past experiences External Distractions Effective Listening -7-
  7. 7. MCG - Human Resources Training and Education • Room Temperature • Outside noises • Telephones • Interruptions • Flip Charts/ Hand-outs 4 Steps to Active Listening 1. Listen . . .  To feelings as well as words, emotions and implications  Focus on the speaker – don’t plan, speak, or get distracted  What is the speaker talking about?  Look at speaker  Use verbal and non-verbal encouragers 2. Question . . .  3 Purposes  Demonstrates you are listening  Gather information  Clarification  Open-ended  Tell me more  How did you feel?  What happened? 3. Reflect - Paraphrase  Reflect what is said (in your words)  Reflect feelings  Reframe  Capture the essence of the communication  Remove negative framing  Move toward problem solving 4. Agree  Get the speakers consent to your reframing  Speaker has been heard and knows it  Solution is near Three types of responses in active listening Effective Listening -8-
  8. 8. MCG - Human Resources Training and Education  Ask good questions  Paraphrase  Empathize Tips for Effective Listening  Take notes to verify the information that you have written down; after the meeting compare your notes with someone else.  Frequently ask yourself - “Did I understand what was said?”  If unsure… ask questions, for clarification, not confrontation.  Never interrupt or dispute a point while someone is talking. Avoid turning the focus of the conversation onto you.  Take a moment to stop talking and listen  Show you want to listen  Show attentiveness and interest  Be comfortable as a listener  Put the speaker at ease  Lean forward, make eye contact  Be patient, allow time  Ignore distractions Skills Practice Listening Activity You and a partner can practice effective listening on one another. Practice with these suggested topics. How I feel about: • My life today. • All the good things that have happened to me. • My future Effective Listening -9-
  9. 9. MCG - Human Resources Training and Education • Showing love to those closest to me Round One: Use the techniques listed below to show your interest. Show Interest: S Focus on the speaker F Openly tell the speaker that you are interested, and why O Use nonverbal cues for rapport U Use short verbal cues to encourage communication U Avoid interrupting the speaker ***Check the techniques you used from the list above. ***Give your partner feedback on how well they did. Round Two: Use the techniques listed below to clarify, gather information, and focus the conversation. Ask Questions: A Use open-ended questions U Limit closed-ended questions Self-Rating: On a scale from 1 (low) to 10 (high), rate yourself on how well you: ____ Used open-ended questions ____ Limited your use of closed-ended questions ***Provide feedback to your partner. Round 3: Use the techniques listed below to let the speaker know what you understand. Understand: U Restate in your own words what you have heard R If the speaker does not agree with your restatement, try again until you have a match m Acknowledge the speaker’s emotions Effective Listening - 10 -
  10. 10. MCG - Human Resources Training and Education Self-Rating: On a scale from 1 (low) to 10 (high), rate yourself on how well you: _____ Restated what you heard _____ Acknowledged the speaker’s emotions ***Provide feedback to your partner Summary Expressing our wants, feelings, thoughts and opinions clearly and effectively is only half of the communication process needed for interpersonal effectiveness. The other half is listening and understanding what others communicate to us. "We were given two ears but only one mouth, because listening is twice as hard as talking." People who are skilled at listening are concerned with two tasks: 1. They must hear and understand what the speaker is saying, making sure that they are not hearing more than the speaker is saying. 2. They must encourage the speaker to continue to communicate. The following are suggestions for improving listening skills: 1. Create an environment for listening. Turn away from the computer and remove files or papers from your hands. Minimize the possibility of interference. 2. Give your full attention. Face the person you are speaking with, maintain eye contact and respond when appropriate. 3. Refrain from offering advice or criticisms that stops the other person’s expression. 4. Avoid use of "Why?" Ask "how," "what," "where," or "when" questions. Ask questions to increase understanding but never to fix blame. 5. Check in occasionally to see if you are understanding. Use phrases/questions like: "I understand you to be saying...," "Are you saying...," or "I am understanding that you think..." Effective Listening - 11 -
  11. 11. MCG - Human Resources Training and Education 6. Listen for feelings behind the words. Be aware of the other person’s feelings. Accept those feelings even if you are in disagreement. Failure to be aware of feelings behind the words is often a major hindrance to understanding. ***Drs. Genie and Preston Dyer - The Dyers teach in the sociology department at Baylor University. ©5/27/2004 Resources  Achieve Global  Business  International Listening Association (ILA) –  HighGain, Inc. – Effective Listening - 12 -