1) What is listening?On an informational front, effective listening gives peopleaccess to
others" beliefs, knowledge, objectives, and attitudes, in part
because people disclose information more readily and effectively
to those who listen well. As a result, effective listening may help
individuals better understand the context in which their influence
attempts transpire, thereby enabling them to tailor their persuasive
behavior to that context. Second, effective listening can also have important
relational benefits. When people feel 'listened to' by would-be
agents of influence their liking for,commitment to, and trust in the
agents tend to increase, thereby expanding the agents' influence power. When it comes to the field of counseling and psychotherapy
listening is a crucial skill. Many a therapist/ counselor think that
because they are trained in counseling/therapy they have more
knowledge than their clients; however, the blatant truth is that
client is the expert on his or her own life. Therefore it's important
for a counselor to listen so that he or she not only understand the
words, but the underlying message of what someone issaying. Are there different types of listening/listeners then? Typically, researchers separate listeners into three or fourspecific
types or levels. All systems are slightly different in how they
separate listeners but all offer a continuum from non-listeners to
very deep listeners. Newkirk and Linden (1982) present a system that examines
three specific listening types: time wasters, dissonance reducers
and active listeners. Hunsaker and Alessandra (1986) put listeners in one of four
general categories, according to the depth of concentration and
sensitivity on the part of the listener. The four types are: the
non-listener, marginal listener, evaluative listener, and the active
listener. As we move from the first, through the fourth the potential forunderstanding, trust and effective communicationincreases. The highest and most effective level of listening is the active
listening (Hunsaker and Alesandra, 1986; Newkirk and Linden,
1982). Active listening is a communication technique that increases
understanding and rapport between speaker and listener. Rather
than passively listening to the speaker (or not listening at all), the
active listener pays close attention to both verbal and body
language, then repeats back the most important points of the
speaker's message. Active listening requires that we listen not only for the content of
the speakers message, but more importantly, for the intent and
feeling of the message as well. Theactive listener shows the
listener, both verbally and nonverbally that they are truly
interested and listening. They are usually skillful questioners, but
never interrupt and are always looking for verbal and visual cues
that signify the other person has something to say. Research has found that by listening effectively, you will getmore
information from the people you manage, you will increase others'
trust in you, and you will reduce conflict, you will better
understand how to motivate others, and you will inspire a higher
level of commitment in the people you manage. Active Listening Techniques
There are several active listening techniques which assist people in
utilizing their listening time to its fullest extent. According to
Newkirk and Linden (1982) some of these techniques are:
paraphrasing, reflection, neutral technique, clarifying and
summarization. 1. Paraphrasing: when the listener restates in his own words
what the speaker means. This is very valuable in testing the
whether the listener really understood what the speaker meant and
also to let the speaker know they are being actively listened to.
2. Reflection: is slightly different from paraphrasing; here the
focus is primarily on how the speaker felt, than the content of the
message. This is particularly importantwhen the speaker expresses
strong feelings. 3. Neutral technique: encourages the speaker to continue
talking. A simple nod of head or a "uh-huh" are usually effective
signals that the listener is interested andlistening.Summarization: Involves combining the speaker"s thoughts
into a concise statement which focuses on the speakers key points. Skills that Active Listeners Possesses
Hunsaker and Alessandra (1986) discuss three additional, very
important skills that only active listeners possess. They are
sensing, attending and responding. Sensing is the ability to recognize and appreciate the silent
messages that the speaker is sending; that is facial expressions,
intonation and body language. Attending refers to the verbal, vocal and visual messages that the
active listener sends back to the speaker acknowledging the
speaker and their message. This also establishes a receptive
listening setting, away fromdistractions, private without invading
the speakers "personal space."Listening is defined as a form of communication that involves
hearing, interpreting, and constructing meanings; an active process
that is not limited to the spoken word; and an essential way of
participating in daily routines as well as wider decision-making
processes.A study of over 8,000 people employed in businesses, hospitals,
universities, the military and government agencies found that
virtually all of the respondents believed that they communicate
as effectivelyas or more effectively than their co-workers.It includes interpreting and is an ACTIVEPROCESS not a
PASSIVE ONE at that.It involves HIGHER MENTAL PROCESSES likeplanning,
meaning making, decision making etc.But,in fact, listening effectively
is something that very few of us can do. It's not that it's hard, but
it's just that we haven't (or chose not to) developed it enough.Are listening and hearing one andthe same or
are they two different things?Are you a Good Listener?So in simple words-
1.It's MORE than HEARING.2.3.
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