Public Speaking chp 4.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Management (MGT)
Steve Joordens

Chapter 4Listening Critically41Areyoureallylistening Hearing is a sensory process Nerve endings in the ear receive sound waves and transmit them to the brain the brain receives them and we become conscious of soundThis is a physiological process Listening is a mental operation It involves processing the sound waves interpreting their meaning and storing the interpretation in memory so that we can recall it think about it or act on it Some people are better listeners because they have trained themselves to Focus attention Minimize distractions Process messages accurately Think criticallyWhy Listening is Important Checking for Accuracy we usually want to check the accuracy of what we heard because the consequences of faulty listening can be far more serious To avoid faulty listening we often check that we have heard and understood correctly For eg Employees who misunderstand the supervisors instructions could jeopardize company profits and to avoid that they can ask questions about instructionsGiving and Getting Feedback Careful listening also enables hearers to provide feedback to speakers Feedback Verbal and nonverbal audience response to a speech usually taken seriously by a speaker and incorporated into the speech when possible in formal situations the speaker and the audience both send and receive messagesThe audience members reactions are usually nonverbalapplause head nodding bored or distracted looks and indications that they are having trouble following the speakers argumentSuch feedback enables speakers to modify their message and improve the likelihood of achieving their purposeDuring the speech careful listening makes feedback possible after the speech it helps listeners to remember and think about the speakers ideas Evaluating MessagesA third reason listening is so important is that you need to listen in order to evaluate and respond to what you hear You need to be able to assess how the speakers beliefs and method compare with yours and whether they are models to follow when it is your turn to speak not all speakers who seek our attention are scrupulous and ethical Be aware that their influence depends precisely on the fact that it is easy for people to hear without really listening To protect yourself as a listener you need to practice skills that will help you evaluate speakers and messages such as critical thinking
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