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Dear learners, there are different types of listening. The most common ones are:

1.      Content listening-the goal is to understand and retain information imparted by the speaker.
2.      Critical listening-the goal is to evaluate the message, at several levels: the logic of argument, strength of the evidence, and validity of the conclusions, the implications of the message for you or your organization.
3.      Active/empathic listening-the goal is to understand the speaker’s feelings, needs and wants so that you can appreciate his/her points of view regardless of whether you share that perspective.

Employing an active listening strategy, one would respond to the emotional content of the message. For example, one could respond to the feeling behind what was said by saying something like, “It sounds as if you’re not happy with the food here,” or “You must be upset about something.”

A second aspect of active listening is feedback. Within this listening strategy, one is making statements that confirm that you are listening and encouraging the speaker to go on. Feedback is an excellent way to confirm that the information you are receiving is an accurate representation of what the sender of the information is intending for you to receive.

Some useful phrases for building understanding and receiving feedback are:
“You seem really...” (Identify the feeling);
“From your point of view...”
“If I understand what you’re saying...”
 “I’m not sure I understood you, you mean...”
“How do you feel about ...?”
“Do you mean ...?”

8.5 Causes of poor listening

Dear students, can you list the factors that affect the listening?

Dear learners, now look at the list of factors that causes poor listening and create a lot of problems in our day to day activities and relationship with other individuals.

  1. External destructions
  2. Prejudice against the speaker
  3. Thinking speed
  4. Premature evaluation
  5. Semantic stereotypes
  6. Delivery

8.6 Checklist for improved listening

In order to improve the listening skill, follow the following checklists.
1.      Get prepared
2.      Accent the positive
3.      Listen to understand, not refute
4.      Focus your attention
5.      Concentrate on context
6.      Take notes summarize and evaluate
7.      Listen with purpose

Activity 8.1
1.      List and briefly describe the listening process.
2.      List three forms of listening, and indicate the goals of each. 
3.      What do you think are the causes of poor listening?

 8.7 Summary

What is verbalized in communication is only one side of the coin. The other side is listening. You will experience many rewards from developing this skill as well as obtain better information on which to judge situations.

Active listening is the act of hearing and responding both to the content and to the feeling of what is being said. Words are often a cover up of what people feel. Most of us have learned to use words to protect ourselves. It is advisable to learn to listen for the feelings that are behind those words.

For example, in the statement: “I don’t want my dinner,” the content is simply the information stated about the speaker not wanting dinner. The feeling could be that the speaker is not happy about something, dislikes the food, or wishes to register a protest about something by not eating dinner.

Active listening is a very effective communication tool, especially when you are trying to clarify a complaint. This listening strategy is especially helpful when you wish to convey that you are interested in what is being said, or to show that you understand what the other person is saying and feeling (not necessarily that you agree but that you hear and understand). This can also help the speaker to explore all angles and come up with his own answers, and encourage the other person to keep talking.




8.8 Checklist

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