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 Review to information to date

 Evans Article
 Activity-Parent conference
 Timed Test
 Listening/Questioning
 Independent Work
 Why is listening difficult?
 How can we identify poor listening?
 How can we become effective listeners?
 Talkers are rewarded: noise gets attention.
We learn this from infancy.
 We are more important: we tend to think
and boost our self esteem, thus we don’t
 We are more knowledgeable: a little
knowledge is a dangerous thing. A lot of
knowledge is more dangerous when it
comes to listening.
 We think faster than the other person
speaks: this can be used to be distracted
or ignore what the other person is saying.
 We develop our mindsets: in order to
cope, we create areas of certainty-beliefs,
assumptions and attitudes that we hold
 The talker communicates poorly:
sometimes the person speaking speaks
too fast, does not know the listener, or has
too much information.
 Seek first to understand, then to be
 Communication is the most important skill

in life. Think of how many years you have

spent learning to read and write and speak.
But how long or what training have you had
in listening? (Covey, p.234)
 At the heart of poor listening is body
language-the nonverbal signals transmitted,
the gestures we make or the postures we
 Aggressive listening: arms folded, stiff
posture, glaring at the speaker, fidgeting.
 Passive listening: little eye contact, hand

over mouth, slumped in chair.

 Listening interruptus: we don’t want to

listen, we want to speak. Playing with a

pencil, tapping fingers, physically moving
forward and interrupting.
 Logical listening: listening with our minds, not our
hearts. We are deaf to messages conveyed we hear
only the facts: “I am getting a divorce” then get a
lawyer. Lack of warm supportive body language and
eye contact.
 Arrogant listening: hands clasped behind the head,
leaning back, legs stretched or elevated, eyes fixed on
the ceiling, eyebrows raised
 Nervous listening: awkward situations, job interview,
with the boss. We want to listen but can only hear our
heartbeat. We don’t realize we are doing this but we
often play with our hair, tap the foot, touch ears or
nose. This may lead us to ask for information again as
we did not hear it properly the first time.
 Be committed: recognize the power of
effective active listening.
 Be objective: we need to think, pause and
breath. It is our feelings, prejudices, nerves
and opinions that get in the way of effective
 Suspend judgment: if we judge we don’t
listen, we automatically may disagree without
all the facts or we may agree too soon.
 Check for understanding: summarize key
points, clarify and confirm your
 Use positive body language: words we
speak have 7% impact on face to face
communication. Tone and intensity has 38%
impact and body language has 55% impact.
Facial expressions, body language and
gestures. (telephone operators are coached
to smile so they are warmer to the other
end of the line customer)
 Facial expression: frequent eye contact, not
a glare or a stare. Usually should reflect the
feelings being conveyed.
 Gestures: these are for the speaker not the

listener. May be distracting and non-verbal

 Use words: words and tone convey

understanding and interest.

 Posture: while there is no single proper
posture; assertive posture is best, not
aggressive not submissive.
 Appreciate silence: we tend to dislike

silence and rush to fill it. Silence can be a

very powerful way to uncover the truth. ---
Mozart “Silence is the most profound
sound in music.”
 We are more likely to learn something
from people who disagree with us than we
are from people who agree with us.
 However, we tend to hang around with

and over listen to people who agree with

us, and we prefer to avoid and under
listen to those who don’t.
 Effective leaders listen attentively,

ineffective leaders make up their minds

 The heroic image of leadership is one
source of the problem with listening. When
leaders believe they possess all the
important information and knowledge, they
do not see listen to others as essential.
Listening is passive, reactive and
uninspired. To listen appears to be
uninformed and weak.(Jossey Bass, p. 121.)
 Recognizing that people are different and
giving others the benefit of the doubt are
behaviors that facilitate listening.
 Good listening involves and effort to look at
the world from another persons point of
 Good listening requires instant analysis of
what has been said as well as gathering a
sense of what remains unsaid.
 Listening requires you to understand the
facts but a leader need to understand the
feelings, the meanings and the perceptions
that are tied to those facts.
 Main rule of thumb: If you don’t listen to

others, they won’t listen to you.

 Open questions promote discovery: what,
why, and how.
 Closed questions establish facts and provide

yes or no answers: where, when, and who.

 Confirm facts
 Acknowledge emotion
 Push for a decision, such as “will you

marry me?”
 Avoid a conversation. How often on

Monday do you say, “how was your

weekend?” this can lead to a long
dialogue. Instead we say “did you have a
good weekend” (closed question) and we
can run with yes or no.
 Four reasons for the over-use and inappropriate
use of closed questions:
◦ Education: our schooling has been more about
finding answers than asking questions.
◦ Psychology: closed questions provide
immediate answers. Subconsciously we may
desire this.
◦ ignorance: few people are taught how to ask
open questions. We carry on as we know.
◦ Time: closed questions save time and we are
very busy.
◦ Think first: when you know the time and place in
advance, think about the conversation.
◦ Think with open questions in mind.
◦ Avoid leading questions: they do not promote
discovery. “Don’t you agree Jim has poor timing?”
◦ Use the right wording: the way a question is
worded can have a large impact on the answer.
“in what ways is the job bigger,” is better than
“how much bigger is the job.”
 Keep questions simple: stay to the point.
 Keep questions single: one question at a

 Practice!!