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We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. ~ Epictetus. Of the time spent communicating each day, . 45% . is devoted to listening.. Usually a person only remembers about .

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We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. ~ EpictetusSlide2

Of the time spent communicating each day,

45% is devoted to listening.

Usually a person only remembers about


of what is said to them.After eight hours they forget another 1/2 to 1/3 of what was originally grasped.

So that means you typically forget about 75% of what you hear.


Why is listening important?

Listening will help you in…



Social groups & organizations

Making informed decisionsOn the jobSlide5


Listening and hearing are the same thing.

Hearing is the first step but doesn’t mean you


what you hear.

Listening is easy.

Listening is a complex process that requires energy

, effort, and



The speaker is primarily responsible for the message sent.

Speaker and listener share the responsibility. A listener may have to

make up

for a sender’s lack of ability.Slide6





The reception of sound.

The act of choosing to focus attention on the message.

Deciding what the message means to you.

Your reaction to the message. It can be emotional and intellectual.

Steps in the listening process

Definition of listening:

It is a




process that involves


to listen,




to symbolic messages from others.

Your knowledge, attitudes, values, beliefs and self-concept influences your perception.

You first respond emotionally, then intellectually. Then you decide how to respond.

Your own needs, interests, attitudes, and knowledge affects your choice to pay attention.

Not everyone hears the same way. Men actually prefer certain frequencies.Slide7

Factors that affect the listening process

Noise – Internal and external distractionsExamples: outside sounds, distracting thoughts

Barriers –



Unfamiliar language, anger, attitudes, biases, needs, beliefs, fear, hearing problems, tuning out, stress, ignorance, prejudices, tired.Memory – 3 typesImmediate – Recalling information for a brief period of time.Short term – Recalling information for carrying out a routine or daily task.

Long term – Recalling information from past experience.Slide8

The average person speaks at a rate of about 150 words per minute.Listeners, however, can understand messages presented at a rate of 380 words per minute.

Often that “lag” time causes listeners to let their minds wander.You have to learn to focus your attention on the message.

Did you know??Slide9

Active listener – The listener participates fully in the communication process. You listen attentively, provide feedback, and strive to understand and remember messages.

Passive listener – The listener does not actively participate in interactions. They think they can absorb information even when they do not contribute to the interaction. They place the responsibility for successful communication on the speaker.


listener – Short bursts of active listening are interrupted by noise and other distractions. They intend to pay attention, but allow their minds to wander.

What kind of listener are you?Slide10

Apply what you hear to yourself.

Relate the information to your personal experience.

Use your own


to understand new information.

Imagine using the information in the future.Think as you listenSummarize and review throughout a presentation.Use

associationsPicture things in your mind – “see it”Use mnemonic devices – rhyme, acronym, etc.Take

notesDo not write every word – paraphrase; focus on key phrases.

Use the same method for taking notes.



Show others you are listening with

body language

and eye contact and ask



How can you listen better?Slide11

Kinds of Listening

Listening to understand, participate and enhance a relationship.

Usually used in interactions between two people or a small group.

Goal is to develop understanding and appreciation of the meanings & feelings of sender.

You try to put yourself in another person’s place, but not necessarily agree with them.





Listening to understand, analyze, and evaluate messages.

Used when receiving and evaluating persuasive messages.

It should make you think.

Listening to comprehend ideas and information in order to achieve a specific purpose or goal.

Use when you must make decisions.

Used when listening to lectures in class.

Used when listening to announcements or getting directions.

Used when you need to remember something important.

Listening to enjoy or appreciate a speaker’s message or performance.

Goal is enjoyment and helps a person to relax.

Used in social situations like concerts, plays or sporting events.

Listening for fun.Slide12

Seven Common Roadblocks to Listening

1. Tuning out dull topics.Many listeners decide early on that a topic is simply not interesting. However, it has been said that there are no uninteresting subjects, only uninterested people. Don’t be a lazy listener!


Listen for something you want or need. You can always find something of value in what another person is saying.

2. Faking attention.It’s no sin to be courteous, but sometimes we take manners to an unfortunate extreme. When we find someone’s conversation boring, but are too polite (or afraid) to risk offending the person, we pretend to pay attention, though our minds are a thousand miles away.Remedy – Sincerely pay attention. Lean forward, maintain good eye contact, react in a natural way with smiles or nods, ask questions. Good listening is not passive – it takes energy to listen!Slide13

Seven Common Roadblocks to Listening

3. Yielding to distractions.Outside noises or movements often affect our concentration. A window drops shut, someone sneezes, a book falls to the floor. All too often, we give our attention to the hubbub of activity around us instead of the speaker in front of us.


Choose a suitable environment to have conversations. Learn to ignore the distractions and don’t become a distraction.

4. Criticizing delivery or physical appearance.Many people abandon their good listening habits when they become overly critical of the speaker’s physical appearance or delivery. Regardless of who the speaker is, the content of his/her message is always far more important than the form of his/her delivery.Remedy – Pay attention to what is said, not how. Be generous enough to overlook difficulties the speaker is having. Slide14

Seven Common Roadblocks to Listening

5. Jumping to conclusions.Be patient. We often think that we know what a person is going to say before they have even finished speaking. Occasionally, we are biased toward a speaker and so we close our minds to the speaker’s message before we have heard it in its entirety.


Don’t judge before you have heard the whole message. Hear the speaker out. Understand their point of view fully before accepting or rejecting it.

6. Interrupting.Do you spend most of your listening time actually listening or do you spend it thinking about what you want to say? Interrupting someone is an almost certain sign that you don’t know or care about what the other person is saying. Remedy – Take time to think about what is being said before responding. Wait for an opening. Put yourself in their shoes.Slide15

Seven Common Roadblocks to Listening

7. Overreacting to emotional words.We will react from time to time to certain words or phrases that push our “hot buttons.” At such times, we might experience a strong emotional reaction that blocks out your ability to listen. We might let our thoughts wander on to other subjects, blocking the speaker’s message from our minds, or we might start to lay plans to trap the speaker in some way.


Stay calm. Finish listening. Don’t let a mere symbol for something stand between you and learning. Think before responding.