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Listening Skills

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Unit-IV Listening is a process of receiving, interpreting, and reacting to a message from the speaker.

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    Listening skills
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    Topics Types of listening Active Empathetic, ' Traits of a good listener, ' barriers in effective listening Tips for effective listening vs. passive,
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    Listening ' Defn: Listening is a process of receiving, and reacting to a message from interpreting the speaker ' No communication process is complete without listening
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    Listening Listening is an important skill. Listening is quite similar to reading as it involves reception and decoding of the verbal message from the other person. The following ex illstrates importance of listening ' In a biology class teacher asked the students to refer to a book titled Origin of Species" One of the student sincerely went to library searched to the catalogue of library, looking for book named Orange and Peaches" but to his utter dismay he could not find it. When he approached the teacher he found that the book was entitled Origin of Species. This is what happens when there is lack of concentration in listening
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    Listening vs. Hearing ' Hearing and listening are not the same People may often use these words interchangeably. In fact, hearing is solely depends on the ears, is a physical act, everyone can hear without deliberate effort. Hearing is merely vibration of sounds on the ear drum followed by electrochemical response ' On the other hand listening requires voluntary attention and then making sense of what is being said
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    Listening vs. Hearing
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    Types of Listening There are various forms of listening. These are as follows: !) Casual Listening: Casual listening is to listen to someone or something without mush and attention concentration. This type of listening has no specific purpose. 2) Focused listening: Focused listening is intentional and systematic process. The listener gives his full attention and concentration on what the speaker is saying to get information, knowledge and ideas. This type of listening is also considered as " Intensive Listening"
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    Other types of listening: 1)Active listening also called as attentive listening. Active listening involves attention, careful concentration of the consideration speaker's The listener Ideas. Participates in communication process actively and attentively. The listener nods his head, leans forward or show positive body language, which and supports the speaker to encourages communicate more enthusiastically. This is positive type of listening
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    Passive Listening: ' Passive Listening is very stern, rigid and orthodox type of listening. This type of listening may create confusion in the mind of the speaker about true intention of the listener. The listener wears a flat' face serious expressions, surroundings all gestures that are used in active listening. Some times passive listening is used to show status of the listeners.
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    Critical listening: Critical listening can also be called as 'evaluating listening' This type of listening involves critical evaluation of the speaker's thoughts and ideas. The listener assesses speaker's depth of knowledge, choice of words and tone and style of the listener. This type of listening is used in seminars, conferences, group discussions, and other formal type of interactions
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    Appreciative listening: This type of listening appreciates and supports the speaker. The listener encourages and motivates the speaker to speak more and more Pretentive Listening: Pretentive listening is also called as 'False Listening" .The Listener pretends as if he is listening attentively to the speakers. Whereas. The listeners is not paying attention to the speaker. ' Even listener may nod his head, smile at the speaker, lean forward, or he will pretend to write down something. The speaker is under false impression that Listener is paying attention
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    ' Empathetic listening: This Type of listening exercises emotional influence on the listener not only understands the literal message but also understand the emotions, and the world view of the speaker. Therapeutic listening: This type of listening involves a healing process in which person revels their suppressed desires. The listener listens the speaker with the purpose to let the speaker's suppressed feeling come to the surface.
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    ' Selective Listening: In This type of listening the listener listens to only important and specific information. The listener does not pay need to other topics or issues in the speech Biased Listening: ' In this type of listening:, the listener is biased and prejudiced against the speaker. The listener has preconceived notion about the speaker and the speech. He is already made not to trust the speaker, The listener shows lack of respect for the listener.
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    Assertive Listening: In this type of listening, the listener allows the speaker to express his ideas freely and frankly. respects the speaker's right to speak Assertive listening encourages the speak to communicate his ideas in an open environment.
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    Traits of a good listener ' Being non evaluative: ' If you are an active listener your verbal and non- verbal behavior should suggest the speaker that he is being properly heard and understood. It should not indicate what you think about a person. The purpose is to communicate overlooking the qualities of the speaker. The behavior of the listener should convey the impression that you accept the person without making judgment of right or wrong, good or bad, suitable or unsuitable.
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    ' Paraphrasing (summarize) ' If you wish to clarify a point, you can simply summarize what the speaker has said and enquire the speaker whether you have heard it accurately or not.
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    Reflecting Implications (suggestions) ' In order to per sue the speaker ( to motivate the speaker) to extend his ideas, the listener has to reflect eagerness and willingness to learn more by using expressions like nodding or through verbal means, thereby giving positive feedback. This technique is can used by listener to get more information from the speaker in the area of interest of the listener. ' i.e. to divert the speaker from his main topic.
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    Reflecting Hidden Feelings ' Sometimes the listener have to go beyond the general feeling and contents of what is being said to unravel the underlying feeling, intentions, beliefs that may influence the speaker's words .This would make the speaker evaluated. ' Acceptance is conveyed more by listeners manner and tone than by the words.
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    Inviting Further Contribution ' In a situation where listener haven't heard or understood enough. The listener can respond with empathy and understanding, prompt the speaker to give more information The idea here is to get a better understanding of the subject by asking questions. But the questions should be for seeking information not to interrogate or challenge the speaker.
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    Responding Non-Verbally Listener can portray his image as that of a active listener by adopting certain postures, and sending non verbal signal which the listeners communicates interest in what the speaker is saying. This may include eye forward Leaning contact, the listener, head towards nodding. Listener can also use some receptive utterances like 'yes' dun-hum' to indicate that message of speaker is being understood.
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    Barriers to effective listening The factors which are creating barriers in effective listening are as follows: ' Environmental Condition: ' Environmental condition like humidity, temperature, atmospheres limits the listeners span of listening. Cloudy atmosphere may cause the listener to sleep Space Distance: Distance between the speaker and the listener from long distance may effect the listening process. If the speaker is speaking from long distance, the listener may struggle to grasp what the speaker is speaking. Some of the words may be mismay be mis- understood by the listener. tock www.shutterstock.com • 18502390
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    ' Omniscient attitude of the listener: people considered Many themselves as ' know all' men They think that they have perfect knowledge of everything in the world. According to them listening to others is pure waste of time.. They are not listening to the speakers because they thing that they already know what he is going to say.
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    ' Infrastructure: Poor Infrastructure may effect listening process. Lack of proper ventilation, light, acoustics can act as a barrier to listening Speed of the speaker: Speed of the speaker can act as a barrier to listening. If the speaker is speaking too speedily, the listeners have no other alternative left than watching speaker. The Human brain receives sounds at a specific speed. If this speed is not maintained properly, the listener's may get distracted.
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    Speakers' Non-verbal communication: Speaker's no use of facial expression, gestures, body language, eye contact and other factors can create barriers to listening. If the speaker relies only on verbal expressions, the listener will be tired of constant bombardment of words and verbal expressions. ' Voice and tone of the speaker: the listener will feel bored and fade up to listen to monotones speech. If the speaker's voice is not audible, the listener may not listen to it attentively. ' On the contrary, many speaker's maintain a monotonous tone which irritates the listener.
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    ' Lack of Factual Information : Many Times listener do nor listen attentively and carefully because he does not find any factual information in the speech ' Language of the speaker: If the speaker is using high technical jargon and difficult words the listener will be clueless about the meaning of those words. They will try to find meaning of those words instead of listening to the speaker.
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    ' Horn Effect in the Listener: The horn effect tendency to is underestimate a person as bad in all the fields because he is bad in one of the field. The listeners reject and nullify the speaker's chance to speak for more amount of time because listeners dislike the speaker. Span of the Speech: The process of listening can take place for a limited period of time. If the speaker is speaking for hours to gather, the listener turns into pretentive listener.
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    Techniques to Improve listening skills ' Motivate yourself to listen Listeners should motivate their mind to listen to the speaker carefully. They should prepare themselves to listen to others willingly. Listening can not be forced or imposed on the person. Individual should know the value and importance of listening.
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    ' Respect the speaker: Listeners should have respect for the speaker. They should not underestimate the speaker's ideas and thoughts. ' Even if, the listener disagrees with some of the ideas of the speaker, they should show their disagreement positively ' Remove Horn effect: ' Do not underestimate a person because he has couple of flaws in his behavior. Many people are like rough diamonds. They need to be understood carefully. The speaker ideas can be rejected or doubted by the listeners. However listener should nor insult or dislike the speaker.
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    Positive body language: Listener should maintain positive body language like nod of head, leaning forward, during maintain postures, communication. ' Moreover listener should not create any type of distractions by using unnecessary body language. Many listeners revo n, notebook, or any other object in their hand.
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    Listeners should not ' Do not Interrupt: interrupt the speaker unnecessarily. Many listeners have tendency to make remarks or comments during speech. Moreover many listeners repeat the words and expression of the speaker loudly ' Improve your listening span: Listeners should get training for enhancing their span of active listening. Many a times, we have to listen to speeches or lectures for long duration.
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    Speaker's use of appropriate body language: Speaker should use positive body language Otherwise Listeners will be observing these body movements and thereby neglect ideas and expressions of the speaker. ' Voice modulation: The speaker should modulate his voice and use different tones while speaking. interesting It creates atmosphere in the audience and they pay more attention to the speaker. It creates an environment for effective listening
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    Use Simple style: Speaker should use simple expressions that can be understood easily by the listeners. The speaker should keep one thing in mind that he should speak to 'express' and not impress. Use of heavy technical words, may distract the speaker and affect the process of listening. Listening should be taught as a skill: The art of listening should be given importance in school and college curriculum. The skill should be taught to students just like, speaking, reading and writing skills. There should be sufficient practice and opportunity to enhance their listening ability.
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    Benefits of Listening Effective listening at all level is very important for the successful running of an organization. Good listening skills make workers more productive. The ability to listen carefully will allow you to: ' Better understand assignments and what is expected of you. Build rapport with co-workers, bosses, and clients. Show support. Work better in a team-based environment. ' Resolve problems with customers, co-workers, and bosses. Answer questions; and find underlying meanings in what others say. Effective listening helps in controlling rumors which helps in preventing damage to the reputation of the organization. Effective listening will improve the working condition and nurture harmony and unity among the workers and colleagues.
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