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Active Listening.docx

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University at Buffalo
COM 225
Bonnie Mc Cracken

Active Listening Wednesday, March 5, 2014 9:25 AM What is so important about listening? • Listening is out most primal and primary communication skill • Potential to develop our listening into something far more profound, rather than passive action • When we practice active listening, we begin to directly experience the words and worlds of other people • …move beyond personal and create the interpersonal (and improve relationships) What is listening? • Listening- 5 step process o Involves: • Receiving  Seeing and hearing information  Visual stimulations, sending info to your brain, translates to visual images  Sound waves enter inner ear, causing eardrum vibrations, which travel along acoustic nerves to your brain, which interprets them as words and voice tone • Attending to  Devoting attention to the info you've received  Received info is determined by its salience • Audibly stimulating (music), unexpected (bang, loud noise), personally important, etc. • Understanding  Interpreting the meaning of another person's communication by comparing newly received info against our past knowledge • Short-term memory- temporarily houses info while we seek to understand its meaning • Long-term memory- permanent info storage • Responding  Communicating attention and understanding by clearly and constructively providing feedback, paraphrasing, and clarifying • Feedback- verbal and nonverbal behaviors (maintaining eye contact, smile, position body to face other, lean forward) • Back-channel cues- nodding, making comments ("Uh- huh") • Positive feedback enhances confidence and generate positive emotions • Recalling sounds and visual images  Remembering info you've received, attended to, understood, and responded to • Crucial part of listening because we judge the effectiveness of listening on our ability to accurately recall info Functions of Listening • Listening functions- purposes for listening o Characterized by 5 common functions • Comprehend • Interpret • Analyze • Appreciate • Support Listening Styles • Listening style- your habitual pattern of listening behaviors o Reflects your attitudes, beliefs, and predispositions regarding the listening process • Action-oriented- want brief, to-the-point, and accurate messages from others  Info that can be used to make decisions or initiate a course of action • Time-oriented- prefer brief and concise encounters  Desire to stick to allotted time schedules • People-oriented- view listening as an opportunity to establish commonalities between themselves and others  Strive to demonstrate empathy by using positive feedback and
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