2. Someone (probably an EnglishSomeone (probably an English
teacher) once observed that thereteacher) once observed that there
must be a reason formust be a reason for two earstwo ears
and only one mouthand only one mouth. Yet. Yet
still listening is one of the leaststill listening is one of the least
understood and under practicedunderstood and under practiced
learning skills. Why? Well 1st,learning skills. Why? Well 1st,
listening is not something we dolistening is not something we do
automatically. We all hear, but mostautomatically. We all hear, but most
of us have to be reminded to listen.of us have to be reminded to listen.
2nd, listening requires us to2nd, listening requires us to
concentrate on what another personconcentrate on what another person
is saying, and concentrating is work.is saying, and concentrating is work.
With that in mind, I give you someWith that in mind, I give you some
guidelines forguidelines for activeactive
3. Challenge YourselfChallenge Yourself
To get the most out ofTo get the most out of
what you’re hearing,what you’re hearing,
you’ve got to motivateyou’ve got to motivate
yourself to listen well.yourself to listen well.
4. Prepare to ListenPrepare to Listen
Think ahead about what you may hearThink ahead about what you may hear
and keep an open mind about theand keep an open mind about the
speaker and the topic. Get rid ofspeaker and the topic. Get rid of
distractions! Have everything you’lldistractions! Have everything you’ll
need handy.need handy.
5. Keep a Goal in MindKeep a Goal in Mind
Take time to figureTake time to figure
out why you’reout why you’re
listening (to gatherlistening (to gather
information forinformation for
tests, to learn howtests, to learn how
to herd llamas,to herd llamas,
6. Listen CarefullyListen Carefully
Listen not only to what the speaker isListen not only to what the speaker is
actually saying but also to what theactually saying but also to what the
speaker is implying (saying between thespeaker is implying (saying between the
lines). The speaker’s voice, faciallines). The speaker’s voice, facial
expressions, and gestures canexpressions, and gestures can
tell you what’s reallytell you what’s really
7. Listen for DirectionsListen for Directions
And then follow them carefully. Listen to theAnd then follow them carefully. Listen to the
speaker’s transitions or signal words forspeaker’s transitions or signal words for
the next major point or idea.the next major point or idea.
8. Separate fact from opinionSeparate fact from opinion
Listen for bias or opinion disguised as fact.Listen for bias or opinion disguised as fact.
9. Listen Actively!Listen Actively!
Avoid daydreaming like the plague!Avoid daydreaming like the plague!