PSYC 341 Lecture 1: Homework 16_ Kim TranExam
Course CodePSYC 341
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Verbal Behavior: What does the person actually say? What does he or she talk about? Does he or
she ask questions? What kinds of comments does he or she make? How much is he or she saying?
In my experience, most people think that they are a good listener, they always come down
to doing three things which are not talking when others are speaking, letting others know they are
listening through facial expression and verbal sounds such as “Mmm-hmm” and being able to
repeat what others have said, practically word for word.
In fact, much management advice on listening suggest doing these very things-
encouraging and then repeat back to the talker something like “So, let me make sure I understand.
What you are saying is…”. I think good listening is much more than being silent while the other
person talks. To the contrary, people perceive the best listeners to be those who periodically ask
question that promote discovery and insight. These questions gently challenge old assumptions but
do so in a constructive way. Sitting there silently nodding does not provide sure evidence that a
person is listening, but asking a good question tells the speaker the listeners has not only heard
what was said, but that they comprehended it well enough to want additional information. Good
listening was consistently seen as a two-way dialog, rather than a one-way “speaker versus hearer”
interaction. The best conversations were active.
The best listeners made the conversation a positive experience for the other party, which
does not happen when the listener is passive (or, for that matter, critical). Good listeners made the
other person feel supported and conveyed confidence in them. Good listening was characterized
by the creation of a safe environment in which issues and differences could be discussed openly.
Good listening invariably included some feedback provided in a way other would accept
and that opened up alternative paths to consider. This finding somewhat surprised us, since it is
not uncommon to hear complaints that “So and so did not listen, he just jumped in and tried to
solve the problem”. Perhaps what the data is telling us is that making suggestion is not itself the
problem; it may be the skill with which those suggestions are made. Another possibility is that we
are more likely to accept suggestion from people we already think are good listeners. Some who
is silent for the whole conversation and then jumps in with a suggestion may not be seen as
credible. Someone who seems combative or critical and then tries to give advice may not been as
Non-Verbal Behavior: How does the person act? What is his or her posture like? His or her facial
expression? His or her movements? His or her non-verbal utterances (e.g., uh-huh, mmmm)?
There are different of listening. Not every conversation requires the highest levels of
listening, but many conversations would benefit for greater focus and listening skill. The listener
creates a safe environment in which difficult, complex, or emotional issues can be discussed.
Moreover, the listeners clear away distractions like phones and laptops, focusing attention
on the other person and making appropriate eye-contact. This behavior not only affects how you
are perceived as the listeners; it immediately influences the listener’s own attitudes and inner
feelings. Acting the part changes how you feel inside. This in turn makes you a better listener. In
addition, the listener observes nonverbal cue, such as facial expressions, perspiration, respiration
rates, gestures, posture, and numerous other subtle body language signals. It is estimated that 80
percent of what we communicate comes from these signals. It sounds strange to some, but you
listen with your eyes as well as your ears.
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