The Art of Listening
• Explain what we mean by listening skills
• Identify why listening skills are important,
from an employability perspective
• Identify key reasons why we often fail to listen
• Adopt simple listening techniques to ensure
that you listen effectively
• Almost 45% of time
we spend in listening.
• An essential
• A process of receiving,
reacting to a message.
• Difference between
listening & hearing
Why Be A Good Listener?
Needs of the Customer…
• To be recognized and
• To feel valued
• To feel appreciated
• To feel respected
• To feel understood
• To feel comfortable about a
want or need
Traits of a Good Listener
• Being non-evaluative
• Reflecting implications
• Reflecting hidden feelings
• Inviting further
• Responding non-verbally
Percentage of Communication
Writing 12 years 9%
Reading 6-8 years 16 %
Speaking 1-2 years 30%
Listening 0-few hours 45%
Listening is the most powerful form of
…a way of saying, “You are important.”
Listening builds stronger relationships …creates a desire
to cooperate among people because they feel
accepted and acknowledged.
Listening promotes being heard
…”Seek first to understand, then be understood.”
- Stephen Covey
Listening creates acceptance and openness
…conveys the message that “I am not
growth and learning
Listening reduces stress and tension
…minimizes confusion and
misunderstanding, eliminating related
stress and tension
Listening is CRITICAL in conflict resolution
…much conflict comes from the need to be
heard. Successful resolution depends on
being a non-anxious presence.
Barriers to Listening
• Equate With
• Speaker’s Delivery
• Mentally Preparing
• Listening for Facts
• Personal Bias
• Faking Attention
Bad Listening Habits
• Criticizing the subject or the speaker
• Getting over-stimulated
• Listening only for facts
• Not taking notes OR outlining
• Tolerating or creating distraction
• Letting emotional words block message
• Wasting time difference between speed
of speech and speed of thought
WHAT IS LISTENING?
If you ask a group of
people to give a one
word description of
listening, some would say
Is following and understanding the
sound---it is hearing with a purpose.
Listening vs. Hearing
• Hearing- physical process;
• Listening- physical & mental
process; active; learned
process; a skill
• Listening is hard!
You must choose to participate in
the process of listening.
• Listening is composed of six distinct
• Hearing: The physiological process of receiving
sound and/or other
• Attending: The conscious and unconscious
process of focusing attention
on external stimuli.
• Interpreting: The process of decoding the
symbols or behavior attended
• Evaluating: The process of deciding the value of
the information to
• Remembering: The process of placing the
appropriate information into
short-term or long-term storage.
• Responding: The process of giving feedback to
the source and/or other
Facts about Listening
• Listening is our primary
• Our listening habits are not
the result of training but rater
the result of the lack of it.
• Most individuals are
• Inefficient and ineffective
listening is extraordinarily
• Good listening can be taught
Styles of receiving:
There are a number of styles of receiving information. The appropriate
style is dependent upon the relative importance of content compared
to the relationship and the involvement of the individual receiving the
Facts about Listening
• Listening: Learned first,
Used most (45%), Taught
• Speaking: Learned
second, Used next most
(30%), Taught next least.
• Reading: Learned third,
Used next least (16%),
Taught next most
• Writing: Learned fourth,
Used Least (9%), Taught
Relational Receiving Skills
• Non-Listening: A style that is appropriate when the receiver has no need for the content and
has minimal relationship with he sender.
• Pseudo listening: A way of "faking it" where the receiver feels obligated to listen even
though they are preoccupied unable or unwilling to at that particular time.
• Defensive Listening: A style of listening used in situations where the receiver feels that he
might be taken advantage of if he does not protect himself by listening for information
directly relevant to him.
• Appreciative Listening: A style that is appropriate in a recreational setting where the listener
is participating as a way of passing time or being entertained.
• Listening with Empathy: A style that teaches an individual to enter fully into the world of the
other and truly comprehend their thoughts and feelings.
• Naively listening to customers: A style that helps build an ongoing relationship by helping
the receiver understand the needs of the sender.
• Therapeutic Cathartic Listening: A listening style used by psychological counselors to help
people who are having problems dealing with life situations.
• Therapeutic Diagnostic Listening: A listening style that is used to assess the needs of the
Content Receiving Skills
• Insensitive Listening or Offensive listening: A style where the listeners main intent is to select
information that can later he used against the speaker.
• Insulated Listening: A style where the listener avoids responsibility by failing to acknowledge that they
have heard the information presented by the speaker.
• Selective Listening: A style where the listener only responds to the parts of the message that directly
• Bottom Line Listening: A style of listening where the receiver is only concerned about the facts. "Just the
• Court Reporter Syndrome: A style of taking in a speakers message and recording it verbatim.
• Informational Listening: A style that is used when the listener is seeking out specific information.
• Evaluative Listening: A style used to listen to information upon which a decision has to be made.
• Critical Incidence Listening: A style used when the consequence of not listening may have dramatic
• Intimate Listening: The style that is appropriate when the speaker is communicating significant relational
information being completely and wholly honest.
• 1. Inactive listening.
• 2. Selective listening.
• 3. Active listening
• 4. Reflective Listening
Active Versus Passive listening
• Show keenness
• Not neglecting
• Valid reason for
• Good listening helps you
to take better decisions
and make better policies
• On the contrary lack of
proper listening can lead
situations because of a
gap in coordination and
Tips for Effective Listening
• Be mentally prepared to listen
• Evaluate the speech not the
• Be unbiased to the speaker by
depersonalizing your feelings
• Fight distractions by closing off
• Be open minded
• Ask questions to clarify and not
to overshadow intelligence
• Paraphrase from time to time
• Send appropriate non-verbal
signals time to time
• Not to pay undue emphasis on
vocabulary as you can use the
context to understand the
• Not to pay too much attention to
the accessories and clothing of
• Not to prepare your responses
while the speaker is speaking
• Avoid preconceptions and
• Not to get distracted by outside
• Not to interrupt too often
• Not to show boredom
Ten keys to effective
• Find areas of interest.
The Poor Listener: Tunes out dry topics.
The Good Listener: Seizes opportunities: "What's in it for me?"
• Judge content, not delivery.
The Poor Listener: Tunes out if delivery is poor.
The Good Listener: Judges content, skips over delivery errors.
• Hold your fire.
The Poor Listener: Tends to enter into argument.
The Good Listener: Doesn't judge until comprehension is complete.
• Listen for ideas.
The Poor Listener: Listens for facts.
The Good Listener: Listens for central theme.
• Be a flexible note taker.
The Poor Listener: Is busy with form, misses content.
The Good Listener: Adjusts to topic and organizational pattern.
• Work at listening.
The Poor Listener: Shows no energy output, fakes attention
The Good Listener: Works hard; exhibits alertness.
• Resist distractions.
The Poor Listener: Is distracted easily.
The Good Listener: Fights or avoids distractions; tolerates bad habits in others;
knows how to concentrate.
• Exercise your mind.
The Poor Listener: Resists difficult material; seeks light, recreational material.
The Good Listener: Uses heavier material as exercise for the mind.
• Keep your mind open.
The Poor Listener: Reacts to emotional words.
The Good Listener: Interprets emotional words; does not get hung up on them.
• Thought is faster than speech; use it.
The Poor Listener: Tends to daydream with slow speakers.
The Good Listener: Challenges, anticipates, mentally summarizes, weights the
evidence, listens between the lines to tone and voice.
Ten keys to effective
• You do not listen with just
your ears. You listen with
your eyes and with your
sense of touch. You listen
with your mind, your heart,
your imagination. (Egan
• A good conversationalist is
popular, a good listener
even more so. Talk only if
you have something to say.