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
Inattention -vagabond mind,reasons-
anxiety,boredom,variations in speed,other
• 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
• 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
Listening techniques that work
• Listen to body language and other non verbal
• Listen precisely- avoid paraphrasing the
message and seek instead to preserve and
record the speakers exact words. It ensures
accuracy, fosters civility, increases
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
• 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 LISTENING
Accentuate the positives
How do you feel when someone really listens to you?
That you’ve gained rapport
Sense of achievement
Stronger working relationship
Better quality of work
Greater customer satisfaction
Easier and better problem solving
Greater cooperation and team work
Listening is a powerful means of communication that can increase
your effectiveness on the job.
THE THREE STAGES OF THE LISTENING PROCESS
Stage one - receiving: you take in the speakers message through your
senses, hearing and seeing.
Stage two - processing: this activity takes place in your mind and
involves analyzing, evaluating, and synthesizing. Great deal of
concentration is needed. “What does the speaker mean?”
Stage three - responding: the speaker sees and hears what the listener
does. The speaker feels respected and understood by the listener,
connection is made and productivity goes up.
• 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
• Appearance and delivery
• Separating ideas from facts
• Switching off
• Doing something else