Listening skills


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A talk delivered to students of Mahatma Vidyalaya, Mthanalluru on 3rd July 2010.

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Listening skills

  1. 1. Listening Skills M S Sridhar July 3, 2010Mahatma Vidyalaya School Muthanalluru
  2. 2. Time is life. It is irreversible and irreplaceableIn a 168 hour week you spend over 30% in sleepingIf you don’t sleep adequately…Another 25% is spent in classeshearing teachersM S sridhar Listening skills 2
  3. 3. Hearing vs. Listening Listening and hearing are not the same Listening is conscious, active process with the mind Hearing is with the senses So Listening = Hearing + Focusing on the message + Comprehending and interpreting + Analyzing and Evaluating to  Understand  Judge  Respond  RememberM S sridhar Listening skills 3
  4. 4. Some Facts 7 out of every 10 minutes we are communicating  45% of time is spent on listening  30% of time on talking  16% spent on reading and  9% spent on writingM S sridhar Listening skills 4
  5. 5. Some Quotes• Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when youd have preferred to talk ~Doug Larson• Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen ~Winston Churchill• The most important thing in communication is to hear what isnt being said ~Peter F. Drucker• Dont worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you ~Robert Fulghum• A good listener is a good talker with a sore throat - Katharine WhitehornM S sridhar Listening skills 5
  6. 6. Fallacies about Listening • Listening is not my problem! • Listening and hearing are the same • Good readers are good listeners • Smarter people are better listeners • Listening improves with ageM S Sridhar Listening skills 6
  7. 7. Learning • A meaningful change in the behaviour • We acquire knowledge about the world • Has to be selective to focus and excel • Closely linked to memory • Learning and memory through behavioural change establish a person’s personality We listen to learn and listening skills are part of overall learning skillsM S sridhar Listening skills 7
  8. 8. Learning Skills • Brain, the most complex organ on the earth, does not come with operating instructions • Our educational system teaches us how to be taught rather than how to learn • We are passive rather than self-directing learners • To learn and move forward, we need both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation backed by energy, enthusiasm and persistenceM S sridhar Listening skills 8
  9. 9. We were given two ears but only one mouth, as God knew that listening was twice as hard as talkingThe opposite of talking isnot listening. The opposite Listening skills areof talking is waiting most difficult to- Fran Lebowitz learnM S sridhar Listening skills 9
  10. 10. Six Sins in Interactions 1. Negative remark 2. Accusing 3. Assumptions 4. Directive or Advice 5. Clichés 6. Judging valuesM S sridhar Listening skills 10
  11. 11. Talking when we should be listening is wrong Unless you shut your only mouth, you can‟t even hear, forget about listening Don’t interrupt, let the speaker finish before you begin to talk A good listener is a good talker with a sore throat - Katharine WhitehornM S sridhar Listening skills 11
  12. 12. You hardly listen if you are …Day dreamingNot paying attention, preoccupiedTuning out with thoughts somewhere elseM S sridhar Listening skills 12
  13. 13. It is hard to listen with a big stinking ego“I know what will be said” attitudeBusy thinking about what you want to say nextHearing only what you expect to hear and not what isactually saidNot listening from the perspective of the speaker dueto prejudice, self-centeredness or stereo-typeM S sridhar Listening skills 13
  14. 14. Meaning is in the receiver’s mindMeaning cannot be transmitted like a tangible substance by the speakerIt must also be stimulated or aroused in the receiverThe receiver must be an active participant for the transmission to be completedM S sridhar Listening skills 14
  15. 15. Physical/ Environmental barriers:Distracted by sights or activityCombat external distractions:• Avoid place, people & situation• Dress normal, more appropriately to the room temperature• When you find yourself drifting away during a listening session, change your body position and concentrate (use listening skills/ strategies)• If you are really listening intently, you should feel tired after your speaker has finished M S sridhar Listening skills 15
  16. 16. Psychological/ Personal barriers Concentrating on something else Selective listening: We tend to hear what we want to hear and not what is actually being said Negative listening attitude Personal reactions Poor motivationCombat internal distractions …M S sridhar Listening skills 16
  17. 17. Psychological/ Personal barriersCombat internal distractions:• Eliminate the source• Try to remain objective and open-minded• Treat listening as a challenging mental task• Maintain eye contact with the instructor• Focus on content, not delivery• Avoid excessive emotional involvement• Stay active by asking mental questions: What is the key point? How does this fit with what we know from previous lectures? How is this lecture organized?• Anticipate what is going to be said as a way to M S keep your mind from Listening skills sridhar straying 17
  18. 18. Use Route 350 (the gap between the rate of speech and rate of thought) Thinking is nearly four times faster than speaking Processing speed of brain = 500 wpm Speaking speed = 150 wpm Unused mental capacity = 350 wpm lead to wandering of mind or tuning out called „Route 350‟ Thus while listening you will be able to think about what you are hearing, really understand it, and give feedback to the speakerM S sridhar Listening skills 18
  19. 19. Tuning Out? (Route 350) May be because you • have heard it before • are preoccupied • find it difficult to understand • have a differing opinionM S sridhar Listening skills 19
  20. 20. Your face is the dish antennaLike a satellite dish antennayour face contains most ofthe receptive equipment inyour bodiesYour body position defineswhether you will have thechance of being a goodlistener or a good deflectorM S sridhar Listening skills 20
  21. 21. Lead with your face Good listeners are like poor boxers: they lead with their faces Face the speaker directly Have an open and receptive posture (open arms, not crossed, not defensive) Lean towards speaker to indicate involvement and interest Maintain direct eye contact Give your full attention; Make sure your mind is focusedM S sridhar Listening skills 21
  22. 22. Following Skills• Do not interrupt the speaker: Allow the speaker time to reflect and prepare the next dialogue• Do not divert the speaker by asking too many questions or with) too many statements/ observations• Do not „fill in‟ words or complete sentences (let the speaker finish)• Pay special attention to statements that begin with phrases such as "My point is..." or "The thing to remember is..."• Ask questions & give feedbackM S sridhar Listening skills 22
  23. 23. Following Skills• Encourage the speaker to tell his own story (Remember, you listen with your face as well as your ears!) Use prompters like ‟yes‟, „go on‟, and „I understand‟ Nod your head, show subtle signs of you understand and are attentive At appropriate points smile, frown, laugh, or be silent• Allow time for silenceM S sridhar Listening skills 23
  24. 24. Reflective Skills• Paraphrasing Accurately restate the speaker‟s message Use your own language to convey factual information only• Reflection of Feeling: Accurately restate your perception of the emotion of the speaker• Focusing: Keep the flow of the conversation goal directed and specific (what are your options to move forward in this situation?)• Clarifying: Attempt to understand vague, confusing or unclear communicationM S sridhar Listening skills 24
  25. 25. Still Distracted ? Practice Listening Follow Active skills Listening Strategies  Sit up 1. Review  Look interested 2. Question yourself  Lean forward & instructor  Listen 3. Concentrate/ focus  Act interested 4. Connect and listen  Nod your head to show that you are tuned in  Track the speaker with your eyesM S sridhar Listening skills 25
  26. 26. Listening in the class room • Come prepared • Be on time • Take copious notes • Listen for main ideas • Ask questions - state what you understood • Think ahead - implications of the thingsM S sridhar Listening skills 26
  27. 27. Recapitulate & Remember !• We spend most of our time in hearing• Listening is conscious active process• Practice listening skills• Position your face which has all receptive equipment; make eye contact with speaker• Do not talk while listening• Take corrective steps to overcome physical barriers like place, people, dress, situation, body position, etc.M S sridhar Listening skills 27
  28. 28. Recapitulate & Remember !• Take care of ‘Route 350’ while listening• Control your ego, excess emotion and other personal barriers; be objective and open- minded• Keep away from six sins in interactions• Listening skills are part of learning skills and closely linked to memory• Ask questions & give feedback• Act interested; Focus and prompt speakerM S sridhar Listening skills 28
  29. 29. Thank you Make sure you have finished speakingbefore your audience has finished listening - Dorothy Sarnoff Comments and questions are welcome