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Listening and Critical Thinking

Chapter Objectives 1. Define hearing, listening , and critical thinking 2. Compare and contrast helpful and harmful listening and thinking habits 3. Explain the use of the listening level-energy involvement scale 4. Define feedback, distinguish between and use different types of feedback, and explain how each type affects communication 5. Set appropriate listening goals 6. Explain how technology influences listening

Listening and Ethics

How responsive a listener are you?

It is our ethic responsibility to listen

Listening is the fundamental process through which we initiate and maintain relationships The percentage of information you retain when listening indicates how good of a listener you are

Are you prepared to listen?

How well do you use your listening time?

How much of a role do you play in ensuring the integrity of a message?

Chain of command transmission or serial communication

Message Chain

Listening vs. Hearing

Hearing occurs automatically and requires no conscious effort

A natural and passive process

Listening is a deliberate process through which we seek to understand and retain aural stimuli

Depends on a complex set of skills that must be acquired Who we are affects what we listen to If information is important to us, we work harder to retain it

Listening Levels

Unethical Listeners
Fraudulent pseudolisteners (nodders) Monopolistic always want to be listened to, but never want to listen Completers fill in missed gaps with manufactured information Selective zero in only on parts that interest them Avoiders close their ears to information theyd rather not deal with Defensive assume others are criticizing Attackers wait for you to make a mistake


Feedback is essential to improving your listening skills

Evaluative feedback Positive evaluative feedback Negative evaluative feedback Formative feedback Nonevaluative feedback Probing Understanding Supportive feedback I messages

Effects of Feedback

The feedback given by the respondent in any encounter strongly influences the direction and outcome of the interaction

Feedback usually increases the accuracy with which information is passed from person to person, as well as increases the time required to transmit information

The Role of Critical Thinking

Critical thinking

The careful thought process about what another person has just said to you The evaluation of the believability of the spoken message

Be ready to challenge and raise questions about what you are listening to Examine the evidence on which a conclusion is based and establish if valid or contains weaknesses and inconsistencies Listen carefully in an effort to determine if what you are listening to makes sense and is worth retaining or acting upon

Technologys Influence on Listening


Advances in technology continue to add listening wrinkles

Face to face real-time, synchronous listening Telephone option of not having to share the same space when engage in real-time conversations Voice mail serial conversations with people in different locations and who dont hear our words when we speak them; asynchronous listening Caller ID allows us to decide who we want to listen to Call waiting makes it possible for us to not miss a call from someone important to us


Increasing Your Ear Power

Become aware of the importance and effects of listening

Become aware of the importance and effects of feedback

Realize that effective listening includes both nonjudgmental and critical responses


Focus Your Attention



Red-flag words

Physical factors Other people Speech-thought differential Attention checks Nonverbal behaviors that support listening Culture can interfere

Constantly focus your attention


Set Appropriate Goals

Know what you are listening for

To understand content To retain content To analyze content To evaluate content To develop empathetic relationships

Adapt goals to each situation or experience


Listening to Understand Ideas

Locate the central concepts in the speakers message Work to recall the concepts that are most important

Seek to identify key words and phrases that will help you accurately summarize the concepts being discussed


Listening to Retain Information

Focus your attention Learn how to make certain you have understood what you have heard Aids to retain information

Repetition Paraphrase Visualization


Listening to Analyze and Evaluate

Reserve judgment until the comprehension of the situation is complete Realize you have a choice; do not feel compelled to join the crowd Listen between the lines


Listening Empathetically and Actively

Empathetic listening can be used to help individuals understand their own situations and problems

Try to internalize the other persons feelings and see life through his or her eyes Acknowledge the seriousness of peoples problems Draw them out so that they can discuss a problem Show them that you understand the problem

Paraphrase their statements Genuine nonverbal cues

Do not judge; reflect, consider, and restate your impression of the senders expressions

Listening to Cultures Influence


We need to be more aware of cultural differences in listening

Dialogic listening the awareness of what happens between people as they respond to each other, work toward shared understanding, and build a relationship