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Barriers to Listening • Internal psychological filters • Hidden Agenda • Preoccupation and lack of interest Internal psychological filters Our past experiences, hopes, anxieties, prejudices influence the information we receive and prejudge the message and the person (see chapter 1). Hidden Agenda Sometimes we enter a conversation or situation with a specific interest in mind, a grudge, which we want to bring out in the open. We may hear the message in relation to what we want and direct it in a way to suit our needs (page 222). One role of communication (speaking and listening) is to build the bonds of relationships. We need to disclose information about ourselves. A lack of trust and lack of goodwill makes disclosure very difficult. Preoccupation and Lack of Interest Communication failures can arise from being preoccupied with other things (watching TV, phone conversation, or other multitasking activities) that we just cannot hear or listen to what others are saying (remember the “moon walking bear”).
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Styles of Responding • • • •
Evaluating or judging Criticizing Advising Interpretive
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Supportive Supportive responses shows the listener’s intent is to reassure, comfort of minimize the intense feelings of the sender of the message. Examples: • Now, it’s okay. It is all going to be better • Mary, you don’t have anything to worry about. I know you can pass your test Supportive messages are best when they are sincere and help others to feel accepted and motivated to try to solve their own problems (page 225) Questioning Questioning responses indicate that the listener wants to probe the sender for additional information and to discuss the issue further. The listener might benefit from discussing the issue in more detail. Examples: • What is your understanding of why your husband lost his job? • How do you feel about that? Questioning is a way to get additional information so that you can understand the situation in more detail. An important aspect of questioning is to avoid interrogating and manipulating the person. (page 226) Understanding (empathic listening) Empathic listening is responding to the person in a way to try to understand the person’s disposition and situation.
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Active Listening With active listening you see the expressed idea, attitude or problem for the other person’s point of view. Active listening requires the following: • Develop a posture of involvement o Lean your body toward the speaker—no slouching around o Make good eye contact for your culture o Minimize distractions (turn off the computer, TV or stereo, move to a quieter location). • Make us of door openers o Invite the person to tell you more. They do not communicate any of the listener’s own ideas, judgments or feelings Examples Tell me more about (your coworkers) Let’s talk about (the problems with your house) Go ahead, I’m listening • Keep the other person talking with minimal encouragement o Give short cues and gestures that indicate that you are still listening (page 227) “really” Go on I see I hear you • Respond reflectively
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o Summarize what you think you heard from the other person. This makes sure the communication process is clearer and tells the speaker that you have been listening.
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Person to Person Communication • Respond with Genuineness o Be honest and open about your feelings, needs and ideas. Minimize responding to what you think the other person wants or society wants. Be yourself. • Acceptance and respect of others o Accept people for who they are and minimize judgments of others (this doesn’t mean you may want to hang out with them). • Empathy o An active process in which you try to learn as much about the other person so that you won’t have a superficial relation with them.
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3 points 3 points
Self-assessment • How well, do you know women and men?, p 237 • Are you an active listener? (p 245)