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VARDHA MAGO
1
UNIT: 2
LISTENING SKILLS
1. Introduction
Listening is the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication
process. Listening is key to all effective communication. Without the ability to listen
effectively, messages are easily misunderstood. As a result, communication breaks down
and the sender of the message can easily become frustrated or irritated.
 Listening is so important that many top employers provide listening skills training for
their employees. This is not surprising when you consider that good listening skills can
lead to better customer satisfaction, greater productivity with fewer mistakes, and
increased sharing of information that in turn can lead to more creative and innovative
work.
 Many successful leaders and entrepreneurs credit their success to effective listening
skills. Richard Branson frequently quotes listening as one of the main factors behind
the success of Virgin.
1.1. Good listening skills also have benefits in our personal lives, including:
 A greater number of friends and social networks, improved self-esteem and confidence,
higher grades at school and in academic work, and even better health and general well-
being.
 Studies have shown that, whereas speaking raises blood pressure, attentive listening can
bring it down.
1.2. Listening is not the same as Hearing: Hearing refers to the sounds that enter your
ears. It is a physical process that, provided you do not have any hearing problems,
happens automatically. Listening, however, requires more than that: it requires focus
and concentrated effort, both mental and sometimes physical as well. Listening means
paying attention not only to the story, but how it is told, the use of language and voice,
and how the other person uses his or her body. In other words, it means being aware of
VARDHA MAGO
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both verbal and non-verbal messages. Your ability to listen effectively depends on the
degree to which you perceive and understand these messages. Listening is not a passive
process. In fact, the listener can, and should, be at least as engaged in the process as the
speaker. The phrase ‘active listening’ is used to describe this process of being fully
involved.
1.3.The Purpose of Listening: There is no doubt that effective listening is an extremely
important life skill. Why is listening so important? Listening serves a number of
possible purposes, and the purpose of listening will depend on the situation and the
nature of the communication.
1. To specifically focus on the messages being communicated, avoiding distractions and
preconceptions.
2. To gain a full and accurate understanding into the speakers point of view and ideas.
3. To critically assess what is being said.
4. To observe the non-verbal signals accompanying what is being said to enhance
understanding.
5. To show interest, concern and concentration.
6. To encourage the speaker to communicate fully, openly and honestly.
7. To develop a selflessness approach, putting the speaker first.
8. To arrive at a shared and agreed understanding and acceptance of both sides views.
Often our main concern while listening is to formulate ways to respond. This is not a function
of listening. We should try to focus fully on what is being said and how it's being said in order
to more fully understand the speaker.
2. General Listening Types
The two main types of listening - the foundations of all listening sub-types are:
1. Discriminative Listening: Discriminative listening is first developed at a very early
age – perhaps even before birth, in the womb. This is the most basic form of listening
and does not involve the understanding of the meaning of words or phrases but merely
the different sounds that are produced. In early childhood, for example, a distinction is
made between the sounds of the voices of the parents – the voice of the father sounds
different to that of the mother. Discriminative listening develops through childhood and
VARDHA MAGO
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into adulthood. As we grow older and develop and gain more life experience, our
ability to distinguish between different sounds is improved. Not only can we recognise
different voices, but we also develop the ability to recognise subtle differences in the
way that sounds are made – this is fundamental to ultimately understanding what these
sounds mean. Differences include many subtleties, recognising foreign languages,
distinguishing between regional accents and clues to the emotions and feelings of the
speaker.
Example: Imagine yourself surrounded by people who are speaking a language that you
cannot understand. Perhaps passing through an airport in another country. You can
probably distinguish between different voices, male and female, young and old and also
gain some understanding about what is going on around you based on the tone of voice,
mannerisms and body language of the other people. You are not understanding what is
being said but using discriminative listening to gain some level of comprehension of
your surroundings.
2. Comprehensive Listening: Comprehensive listening involves understanding the
message or messages that are being communicated. Like discriminative listening,
comprehensive listening is fundamental to all listening sub-types. In order to be able
use comprehensive listening and therefore gain understanding the listener first needs
appropriate vocabulary and language skills. Using overly complicated language or
technical jargon, therefore, can be a barrier to comprehensive
listening. Comprehensive listening is further complicated by the fact that two different
people listening to the same thing may understand the message in two different
ways. This problem can be multiplied in a group setting, like a classroom or business
meeting where numerous different meanings can be derived from what has been said.
Comprehensive listening is complimented by sub-messages from non-verbal
communication, such as the tone of voice, gestures and other body language. These
non-verbal signals can greatly aid communication and comprehension but can also
confuse and potentially lead to misunderstanding. In many listening situations it is vital
to seek clarification and use skills such as reflection aid comprehension.
VARDHA MAGO
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3. Specific Listening Types
Discriminative and comprehensive listening are prerequisites for specific listening types.
Listening types can be defined by the goal of the listening.
The three main types of listening most common in interpersonal communication are:
3.1. Informational Listening (Listening to Learn): Whenever you listen to learn something,
you are engaged in informational listening. This is true in many day-to-day situations, in
education and at work, when you listen to the news, watch a documentary, when a friend tells
you a recipe or when you are talked-through a technical problem with a computer – there are
many other examples of informational listening too.
Although all types of listening are ‘active’ – they require concentration and a conscious effort
to understand. Informational listening is less active than many of the other types of
listening. When we’re listening to learn or be instructed we are taking in new information and
facts, we are not criticising or analysing. Informational listening, especially in formal settings
like in work meetings or while in education, is often accompanied by note taking – a way of
recording key information so that it can be reviewed later.
3.2. Critical Listening (Listening to Evaluate and Analyse): We can be said to be
engaged in critical listening when the goal is to evaluate or scrutinise what is being said.
Critical listening is a much more active behaviour than informational listening and usually
involves some sort of problem solving or decision making. Critical listening is akin to critical
reading; both involve analysis of the information being received and alignment with what we
already know or believe. Whereas informational listening may be mostly concerned with
receiving facts and/or new information - critical listening is about analysing opinion and
making a judgement.
When the word ‘critical’ is used to describe listening, reading or thinking it does not
necessarily mean that you are claiming that the information you are listening to is somehow
faulty or flawed. Rather, critical listening means engaging in what you are listening to by
asking yourself questions such as, ‘what is the speaker trying to say?’ or ‘what is the main
argument being presented?’, ‘how does what I’m hearing differ from my beliefs, knowledge or
opinion?’. Critical listening is, therefore, fundamental to true learning. Many day-to-day
decisions that we make are based on some form of ‘critical’ analysis, whether it be critical
VARDHA MAGO
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listening, reading or thought. Our opinions, values and beliefs are based on our ability to
process information and formulate our own feelings about the world around us as well as weigh
up the pros and cons to make an informed decision.
It is often important, when listening critically, to have an open-mind and not be biased by
stereotypes or preconceived ideas. By doing this you will become a better listener and broaden
your knowledge and perception of other people and your relationships.
3.3. Therapeutic or Empathetic Listening (Listening to Understand Feeling and Emotion)
In reality you may have more than one goal for listening at any given time – for example, you
may be listening to learn whilst also attempting to be empathetic. Empathic listening involves
attempting to understand the feelings and emotions of the speaker – to put yourself into
the speaker’s shoes and share their thoughts. Empathy is a way of deeply connecting with
another person and therapeutic or empathic listening can be particularly challenging. Empathy
is not the same as sympathy, it involves more than being compassionate or feeling sorry for
somebody else – it involves a deeper connection – a realisation and understanding of another
person’s point of view.
Counsellors, therapists and some other professionals use therapeutic or empathic listening to
understand and ultimately help their clients. This type of listening does not involve making
judgements or offering advice but gently encouraging the speaker to explain and elaborate on
their feelings and emotions. Skills such as clarification and reflection are often used to help
avoid misunderstandings
We are all capable of empathic listening and may practise it with friends, family and
colleagues. Showing empathy is a desirable trait in many interpersonal relationships – you
may well feel more comfortable talking about your own feelings and emotions with a particular
person.
They are likely to be better at listening empathetically to you than others, this is often based
on similar perspectives, experiences, beliefs and values – a good friend, your spouse, a parent
or sibling for example.
VARDHA MAGO
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4. Other Listening Types
Although usually less important or useful in interpersonal relationships there are other types of
listening, these include:
4.1. Appreciative Listening
Appreciative listening is listening for enjoyment. A good example is listening to music,
especially as a way to relax.
4.2. Rapport Listening
When trying to build rapport with others we can engage in a type of listening that encourages
the other person to trust and like us. A salesman, for example, may make an effort to listen
carefully to what you are saying as a way to promote trust and potentially make a sale. This
type of listening is common in situations of negotiation.
4.3. Selective Listening
This is a more negative type of listening, it implies that the listener is somehow biased to what
they are hearing. Bias can be based on preconceived ideas or emotionally difficult
communications. Selective listening is a sign of failing communication – you cannot hope to
understand if you have filtered out some of the message and may reinforce or strengthen your
bias for future communications.
Read more at: https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/listening-types.html
VARDHA MAGO
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5. LISTENING PROCESS
https://www.google.co.in/search?q=process+of+listening&source
HEARING – It is referred to the response caused by sound waves stimulating the sensory
receptors of the ear; it is physical response; hearing is perception of sound waves; you must
hear to listen, but you need not listen to hear (perception necessary for listening depends on
attention). Brain screens stimuli and permits only a select few to come into focus- these
selective perception is known as attention, an important requirement for effective listening.
UNDERSTANDING- This step helps to understand symbols we have seen and heard, we must
analyse the meaning of the stimuli we have perceived; symbolic stimuli are not only words but
also sounds like applause… and sights like blue uniform…that have symbolic meanings as
well; the meanings attached to these symbols are a function of our past associations and of the
context in which the symbols occur. For successful interpersonal communication, the listener
must understand the intended meaning and the context assumed by the sender.
REMEMBERING- Remembering is important listening process because it means that an
individual has not only received and interpreted a message but has also added it to the mind’s
storage bank. In Listening our attention is selective, so too is our memory- what is remembered
may be quite different from what was originally seen or heard.
EVALUATING- Only active listeners participate at this stage in Listening. At this point the
active listener weighs evidence, sorts fact from opinion, and determines the presence or absence
of bias or prejudice in a message; the effective listener makes sure that he or she doesn’t begin
VARDHA MAGO
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this activity too soon; beginning this stage of the process before a message is completed
requires that we no longer hear and attend to the incoming message-as a result, the listening
process.
RESPONDING- This stage requires that the receiver complete the process through verbal
and/or nonverbal feedback; because the speaker has no other way to determine if a message
has Step-1 Receiving (Hearing) Step-2 Understanding (Learning) Step-3 Remembering
(Recalling) Step-4 Evaluating (Judging) Step-5 Responding (Answering)
www.the-criterion.com criterionejournal@gmail.com
6. Listening Problems
6.1. Problems related to the listeners:
6.1.1. Lack of concentration and attention: "Many pupils have difficulties following
instructions owing to apparent deficits in attention and concentration .Such pupils may not be
adapting well to the numerous distractions in a typical classroom".
6.1.2. Lack of prior knowledge and proficiency: The concerned knowledge in this context is
the socio-cultural, factual or the contextual knowledge of the target language. These types of
knowledge can present an obstacle to comprehension because this background of non-linguistic
clues are very essential in helping students to understand the target language and this latter
which is the mean to express its culture.
6.2. Problems related to the message:
6.2.1. The content: The content structure or the information organization in an oral passage
plays a noticeable role in learner's understanding. So a well-organized passage should be
characterized by the chronological and logical order of event to aid students in their listening
comprehension any disruption or flash back seen to make the information more difficult to be
understood.
6.3. Problems related to the speaker:
Among the difficulties related to the speaker we notice that our learners who are familiar to
conduct their learning in slowly and deliberately spoken English find a considerable difficulty
VARDHA MAGO
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in understanding native speakers talk and conversations, and they claim always that they are
unable to comprehend this fast and spontaneous speech.
6.4. Problems related to physical setting:
Difficulties related to this factor can be found in the classroom or the laboratory noises whether
noises on the recording or environmental ones. This may prevent the learner to listen well.
Listening is not easyand there are a number of obstacles that stand in the way of effective
listening, both within outside the workplace. These barriers may be categorized as
follows.
1. Physiological Barriers: - some people may have genuine hearing problems or deficiencies
that prevent them from listening properly. It can be treated. Some people may have problem in
processing information or retaining information in the memory.
2. Physical Barriers: - These referred to distraction in the environment such as the sound of an
air conditioner, cigarette smoke, or an overheated room. It interfere the Listening the they could
also be in the form of information overload. For example, if you are in meeting with your
manager and the phone rings and your mobile beeps at the same time to let u know that you
have the message. It is very hard to listen carefully to what is being said.
3. Attitudinal Barriers: - pre occupation with personal or work related problems can make it
difficult to focus one’s attention completely on what speaker is saying, even what is being said
is of very importance. Another common attitudinal barrier is egocentrism, or the belief that the
person have more knowledgeable than the speaker, or that there is nothing new to learn from
the speaker’s ideas. People with this kind of close minded attitude are very poor listeners.
4. Wrong Assumptions: - The success of communication depend on the both the sender and
receiver. It is wrong to assume that communication is the sole responsibility of the sender or
the speaker and that listeners have no role to play. Such an assumption can be big barrier to
listening. For example, a brilliant speech or presentation, however well delivered, is wasted if
the receiver is not listening at the other end. Listeners have as much responsibility as speakers
to make the communication successful. The process should be made successful by paying
attention seeking clarifications and giving feedback.
VARDHA MAGO
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5. Cultural Barriers: - Accents can be barriers to listening, since they interfere with the ability
to understand the meaning of words that are pronounced differently. The problem of different
accents arises not only between cultures, but also within a culture. For example, in a country
like India where there is enormous cultural diversity, accents may differ even between regions
states.
6. Gender Barriers: - communication research has shown that gender can be barrier to listening.
Studies have revealed that men and women listen very differently and for different purposes.
Women are more likely to listen for the emotion behind a speaker’s words, when men listen
more for the facts and the content.
7. Lack of Training: - Listening is not an inborn skill. People are not born good listeners. It is
developed through practice and training. Lack of training in listing skills is an important barrier.
8 Bad Listening Habits: - Most people are very average listeners who have developed poor
listening habits that are hard to say and that act as barriers to listening. For example, some
people have the habits of “faking” attention, or trying to look like a listeners, in order to impress
the speaker and to assure him that they are paying attention. Others may tend to listen to each
and every fact and, as a result, miss out the main point.
7. Overcome listening barriers
1. Face the speaker. Sit up straight or lean forward slightly to show your attentiveness through
body language.
2. Maintain eye contact, to the degree that you all remain comfortable.
3. Minimize external distractions. Turn off the TV. Put down your book or magazine, and ask
the speaker and other listeners to do the same.
4. Respond appropriately to show that you understand. Murmur (“uh-huh” and “um-hmm”)
and nod. Raise your eyebrows. Say words such as “Really,” “Interesting,” as well as more
direct prompts: “What did you do then?” and “What did she say?”
5. Focus solely on what the speaker is saying. Try not to think about what you are going to say
next. The conversation will follow a logical flow after the speaker makes her point.
VARDHA MAGO
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6. Minimize internal distractions. If your own thoughts keep horning in, simply let them go and
continuously re-focus your attention on the speaker, much as you would during meditation.
7. Keep an open mind. Wait until the speaker is finished before deciding that you disagree. Try
not to make assumptions about what the speaker is thinking.
8. Avoid letting the speaker know how you handled a similar situation. Unless they specifically
ask for advice, assume they just need to talk it out.
9. Even if the speaker is launching a complaint against you, wait until they finish to defend
yourself. The speaker will feel as though their point had been made. They won’t feel the need
to repeat it, and you’ll know the whole argument before you respond. Research shows that, on
average, we can hear four times faster than we can talk, so we have the ability to sort ideas as
they come in…and be ready for more.
10. Engage yourself. Ask questions for clarification, but, once again, wait until the speaker has
finished. That way, you won’t interrupt their train of thought. After you ask questions,
paraphrase their point to make sure you didn’t misunderstand. Start with: “So you’re saying

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listening skills

  • 1. VARDHA MAGO 1 UNIT: 2 LISTENING SKILLS 1. Introduction Listening is the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process. Listening is key to all effective communication. Without the ability to listen effectively, messages are easily misunderstood. As a result, communication breaks down and the sender of the message can easily become frustrated or irritated.  Listening is so important that many top employers provide listening skills training for their employees. This is not surprising when you consider that good listening skills can lead to better customer satisfaction, greater productivity with fewer mistakes, and increased sharing of information that in turn can lead to more creative and innovative work.  Many successful leaders and entrepreneurs credit their success to effective listening skills. Richard Branson frequently quotes listening as one of the main factors behind the success of Virgin. 1.1. Good listening skills also have benefits in our personal lives, including:  A greater number of friends and social networks, improved self-esteem and confidence, higher grades at school and in academic work, and even better health and general well- being.  Studies have shown that, whereas speaking raises blood pressure, attentive listening can bring it down. 1.2. Listening is not the same as Hearing: Hearing refers to the sounds that enter your ears. It is a physical process that, provided you do not have any hearing problems, happens automatically. Listening, however, requires more than that: it requires focus and concentrated effort, both mental and sometimes physical as well. Listening means paying attention not only to the story, but how it is told, the use of language and voice, and how the other person uses his or her body. In other words, it means being aware of
  • 2. VARDHA MAGO 2 both verbal and non-verbal messages. Your ability to listen effectively depends on the degree to which you perceive and understand these messages. Listening is not a passive process. In fact, the listener can, and should, be at least as engaged in the process as the speaker. The phrase ‘active listening’ is used to describe this process of being fully involved. 1.3.The Purpose of Listening: There is no doubt that effective listening is an extremely important life skill. Why is listening so important? Listening serves a number of possible purposes, and the purpose of listening will depend on the situation and the nature of the communication. 1. To specifically focus on the messages being communicated, avoiding distractions and preconceptions. 2. To gain a full and accurate understanding into the speakers point of view and ideas. 3. To critically assess what is being said. 4. To observe the non-verbal signals accompanying what is being said to enhance understanding. 5. To show interest, concern and concentration. 6. To encourage the speaker to communicate fully, openly and honestly. 7. To develop a selflessness approach, putting the speaker first. 8. To arrive at a shared and agreed understanding and acceptance of both sides views. Often our main concern while listening is to formulate ways to respond. This is not a function of listening. We should try to focus fully on what is being said and how it's being said in order to more fully understand the speaker. 2. General Listening Types The two main types of listening - the foundations of all listening sub-types are: 1. Discriminative Listening: Discriminative listening is first developed at a very early age – perhaps even before birth, in the womb. This is the most basic form of listening and does not involve the understanding of the meaning of words or phrases but merely the different sounds that are produced. In early childhood, for example, a distinction is made between the sounds of the voices of the parents – the voice of the father sounds different to that of the mother. Discriminative listening develops through childhood and
  • 3. VARDHA MAGO 3 into adulthood. As we grow older and develop and gain more life experience, our ability to distinguish between different sounds is improved. Not only can we recognise different voices, but we also develop the ability to recognise subtle differences in the way that sounds are made – this is fundamental to ultimately understanding what these sounds mean. Differences include many subtleties, recognising foreign languages, distinguishing between regional accents and clues to the emotions and feelings of the speaker. Example: Imagine yourself surrounded by people who are speaking a language that you cannot understand. Perhaps passing through an airport in another country. You can probably distinguish between different voices, male and female, young and old and also gain some understanding about what is going on around you based on the tone of voice, mannerisms and body language of the other people. You are not understanding what is being said but using discriminative listening to gain some level of comprehension of your surroundings. 2. Comprehensive Listening: Comprehensive listening involves understanding the message or messages that are being communicated. Like discriminative listening, comprehensive listening is fundamental to all listening sub-types. In order to be able use comprehensive listening and therefore gain understanding the listener first needs appropriate vocabulary and language skills. Using overly complicated language or technical jargon, therefore, can be a barrier to comprehensive listening. Comprehensive listening is further complicated by the fact that two different people listening to the same thing may understand the message in two different ways. This problem can be multiplied in a group setting, like a classroom or business meeting where numerous different meanings can be derived from what has been said. Comprehensive listening is complimented by sub-messages from non-verbal communication, such as the tone of voice, gestures and other body language. These non-verbal signals can greatly aid communication and comprehension but can also confuse and potentially lead to misunderstanding. In many listening situations it is vital to seek clarification and use skills such as reflection aid comprehension.
  • 4. VARDHA MAGO 4 3. Specific Listening Types Discriminative and comprehensive listening are prerequisites for specific listening types. Listening types can be defined by the goal of the listening. The three main types of listening most common in interpersonal communication are: 3.1. Informational Listening (Listening to Learn): Whenever you listen to learn something, you are engaged in informational listening. This is true in many day-to-day situations, in education and at work, when you listen to the news, watch a documentary, when a friend tells you a recipe or when you are talked-through a technical problem with a computer – there are many other examples of informational listening too. Although all types of listening are ‘active’ – they require concentration and a conscious effort to understand. Informational listening is less active than many of the other types of listening. When we’re listening to learn or be instructed we are taking in new information and facts, we are not criticising or analysing. Informational listening, especially in formal settings like in work meetings or while in education, is often accompanied by note taking – a way of recording key information so that it can be reviewed later. 3.2. Critical Listening (Listening to Evaluate and Analyse): We can be said to be engaged in critical listening when the goal is to evaluate or scrutinise what is being said. Critical listening is a much more active behaviour than informational listening and usually involves some sort of problem solving or decision making. Critical listening is akin to critical reading; both involve analysis of the information being received and alignment with what we already know or believe. Whereas informational listening may be mostly concerned with receiving facts and/or new information - critical listening is about analysing opinion and making a judgement. When the word ‘critical’ is used to describe listening, reading or thinking it does not necessarily mean that you are claiming that the information you are listening to is somehow faulty or flawed. Rather, critical listening means engaging in what you are listening to by asking yourself questions such as, ‘what is the speaker trying to say?’ or ‘what is the main argument being presented?’, ‘how does what I’m hearing differ from my beliefs, knowledge or opinion?’. Critical listening is, therefore, fundamental to true learning. Many day-to-day decisions that we make are based on some form of ‘critical’ analysis, whether it be critical
  • 5. VARDHA MAGO 5 listening, reading or thought. Our opinions, values and beliefs are based on our ability to process information and formulate our own feelings about the world around us as well as weigh up the pros and cons to make an informed decision. It is often important, when listening critically, to have an open-mind and not be biased by stereotypes or preconceived ideas. By doing this you will become a better listener and broaden your knowledge and perception of other people and your relationships. 3.3. Therapeutic or Empathetic Listening (Listening to Understand Feeling and Emotion) In reality you may have more than one goal for listening at any given time – for example, you may be listening to learn whilst also attempting to be empathetic. Empathic listening involves attempting to understand the feelings and emotions of the speaker – to put yourself into the speaker’s shoes and share their thoughts. Empathy is a way of deeply connecting with another person and therapeutic or empathic listening can be particularly challenging. Empathy is not the same as sympathy, it involves more than being compassionate or feeling sorry for somebody else – it involves a deeper connection – a realisation and understanding of another person’s point of view. Counsellors, therapists and some other professionals use therapeutic or empathic listening to understand and ultimately help their clients. This type of listening does not involve making judgements or offering advice but gently encouraging the speaker to explain and elaborate on their feelings and emotions. Skills such as clarification and reflection are often used to help avoid misunderstandings We are all capable of empathic listening and may practise it with friends, family and colleagues. Showing empathy is a desirable trait in many interpersonal relationships – you may well feel more comfortable talking about your own feelings and emotions with a particular person. They are likely to be better at listening empathetically to you than others, this is often based on similar perspectives, experiences, beliefs and values – a good friend, your spouse, a parent or sibling for example.
  • 6. VARDHA MAGO 6 4. Other Listening Types Although usually less important or useful in interpersonal relationships there are other types of listening, these include: 4.1. Appreciative Listening Appreciative listening is listening for enjoyment. A good example is listening to music, especially as a way to relax. 4.2. Rapport Listening When trying to build rapport with others we can engage in a type of listening that encourages the other person to trust and like us. A salesman, for example, may make an effort to listen carefully to what you are saying as a way to promote trust and potentially make a sale. This type of listening is common in situations of negotiation. 4.3. Selective Listening This is a more negative type of listening, it implies that the listener is somehow biased to what they are hearing. Bias can be based on preconceived ideas or emotionally difficult communications. Selective listening is a sign of failing communication – you cannot hope to understand if you have filtered out some of the message and may reinforce or strengthen your bias for future communications. Read more at: https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/listening-types.html
  • 7. VARDHA MAGO 7 5. LISTENING PROCESS https://www.google.co.in/search?q=process+of+listening&source HEARING – It is referred to the response caused by sound waves stimulating the sensory receptors of the ear; it is physical response; hearing is perception of sound waves; you must hear to listen, but you need not listen to hear (perception necessary for listening depends on attention). Brain screens stimuli and permits only a select few to come into focus- these selective perception is known as attention, an important requirement for effective listening. UNDERSTANDING- This step helps to understand symbols we have seen and heard, we must analyse the meaning of the stimuli we have perceived; symbolic stimuli are not only words but also sounds like applause… and sights like blue uniform…that have symbolic meanings as well; the meanings attached to these symbols are a function of our past associations and of the context in which the symbols occur. For successful interpersonal communication, the listener must understand the intended meaning and the context assumed by the sender. REMEMBERING- Remembering is important listening process because it means that an individual has not only received and interpreted a message but has also added it to the mind’s storage bank. In Listening our attention is selective, so too is our memory- what is remembered may be quite different from what was originally seen or heard. EVALUATING- Only active listeners participate at this stage in Listening. At this point the active listener weighs evidence, sorts fact from opinion, and determines the presence or absence of bias or prejudice in a message; the effective listener makes sure that he or she doesn’t begin
  • 8. VARDHA MAGO 8 this activity too soon; beginning this stage of the process before a message is completed requires that we no longer hear and attend to the incoming message-as a result, the listening process. RESPONDING- This stage requires that the receiver complete the process through verbal and/or nonverbal feedback; because the speaker has no other way to determine if a message has Step-1 Receiving (Hearing) Step-2 Understanding (Learning) Step-3 Remembering (Recalling) Step-4 Evaluating (Judging) Step-5 Responding (Answering) www.the-criterion.com criterionejournal@gmail.com 6. Listening Problems 6.1. Problems related to the listeners: 6.1.1. Lack of concentration and attention: "Many pupils have difficulties following instructions owing to apparent deficits in attention and concentration .Such pupils may not be adapting well to the numerous distractions in a typical classroom". 6.1.2. Lack of prior knowledge and proficiency: The concerned knowledge in this context is the socio-cultural, factual or the contextual knowledge of the target language. These types of knowledge can present an obstacle to comprehension because this background of non-linguistic clues are very essential in helping students to understand the target language and this latter which is the mean to express its culture. 6.2. Problems related to the message: 6.2.1. The content: The content structure or the information organization in an oral passage plays a noticeable role in learner's understanding. So a well-organized passage should be characterized by the chronological and logical order of event to aid students in their listening comprehension any disruption or flash back seen to make the information more difficult to be understood. 6.3. Problems related to the speaker: Among the difficulties related to the speaker we notice that our learners who are familiar to conduct their learning in slowly and deliberately spoken English find a considerable difficulty
  • 9. VARDHA MAGO 9 in understanding native speakers talk and conversations, and they claim always that they are unable to comprehend this fast and spontaneous speech. 6.4. Problems related to physical setting: Difficulties related to this factor can be found in the classroom or the laboratory noises whether noises on the recording or environmental ones. This may prevent the learner to listen well. Listening is not easyand there are a number of obstacles that stand in the way of effective listening, both within outside the workplace. These barriers may be categorized as follows. 1. Physiological Barriers: - some people may have genuine hearing problems or deficiencies that prevent them from listening properly. It can be treated. Some people may have problem in processing information or retaining information in the memory. 2. Physical Barriers: - These referred to distraction in the environment such as the sound of an air conditioner, cigarette smoke, or an overheated room. It interfere the Listening the they could also be in the form of information overload. For example, if you are in meeting with your manager and the phone rings and your mobile beeps at the same time to let u know that you have the message. It is very hard to listen carefully to what is being said. 3. Attitudinal Barriers: - pre occupation with personal or work related problems can make it difficult to focus one’s attention completely on what speaker is saying, even what is being said is of very importance. Another common attitudinal barrier is egocentrism, or the belief that the person have more knowledgeable than the speaker, or that there is nothing new to learn from the speaker’s ideas. People with this kind of close minded attitude are very poor listeners. 4. Wrong Assumptions: - The success of communication depend on the both the sender and receiver. It is wrong to assume that communication is the sole responsibility of the sender or the speaker and that listeners have no role to play. Such an assumption can be big barrier to listening. For example, a brilliant speech or presentation, however well delivered, is wasted if the receiver is not listening at the other end. Listeners have as much responsibility as speakers to make the communication successful. The process should be made successful by paying attention seeking clarifications and giving feedback.
  • 10. VARDHA MAGO 10 5. Cultural Barriers: - Accents can be barriers to listening, since they interfere with the ability to understand the meaning of words that are pronounced differently. The problem of different accents arises not only between cultures, but also within a culture. For example, in a country like India where there is enormous cultural diversity, accents may differ even between regions states. 6. Gender Barriers: - communication research has shown that gender can be barrier to listening. Studies have revealed that men and women listen very differently and for different purposes. Women are more likely to listen for the emotion behind a speaker’s words, when men listen more for the facts and the content. 7. Lack of Training: - Listening is not an inborn skill. People are not born good listeners. It is developed through practice and training. Lack of training in listing skills is an important barrier. 8 Bad Listening Habits: - Most people are very average listeners who have developed poor listening habits that are hard to say and that act as barriers to listening. For example, some people have the habits of “faking” attention, or trying to look like a listeners, in order to impress the speaker and to assure him that they are paying attention. Others may tend to listen to each and every fact and, as a result, miss out the main point. 7. Overcome listening barriers 1. Face the speaker. Sit up straight or lean forward slightly to show your attentiveness through body language. 2. Maintain eye contact, to the degree that you all remain comfortable. 3. Minimize external distractions. Turn off the TV. Put down your book or magazine, and ask the speaker and other listeners to do the same. 4. Respond appropriately to show that you understand. Murmur (“uh-huh” and “um-hmm”) and nod. Raise your eyebrows. Say words such as “Really,” “Interesting,” as well as more direct prompts: “What did you do then?” and “What did she say?” 5. Focus solely on what the speaker is saying. Try not to think about what you are going to say next. The conversation will follow a logical flow after the speaker makes her point.
  • 11. VARDHA MAGO 11 6. Minimize internal distractions. If your own thoughts keep horning in, simply let them go and continuously re-focus your attention on the speaker, much as you would during meditation. 7. Keep an open mind. Wait until the speaker is finished before deciding that you disagree. Try not to make assumptions about what the speaker is thinking. 8. Avoid letting the speaker know how you handled a similar situation. Unless they specifically ask for advice, assume they just need to talk it out. 9. Even if the speaker is launching a complaint against you, wait until they finish to defend yourself. The speaker will feel as though their point had been made. They won’t feel the need to repeat it, and you’ll know the whole argument before you respond. Research shows that, on average, we can hear four times faster than we can talk, so we have the ability to sort ideas as they come in…and be ready for more. 10. Engage yourself. Ask questions for clarification, but, once again, wait until the speaker has finished. That way, you won’t interrupt their train of thought. After you ask questions, paraphrase their point to make sure you didn’t misunderstand. Start with: “So you’re saying