1. The biggest block to personal communication is man's inability to listen intelligently, understandingly and skillfully to another person.
(a)Do you agree with this assessment? Give examples to support your argument.
(b)What do you see as the main skills of a good 'listener'?
2. There are some situations where the receiver puts up obstacles to communication (e.g. as a defensive shield against unwelcome questions). Today's 'professional' politicians, are often skilled at avoiding the question. Extensive media training, often provided by former journalists, helps them to replace a meaningful answer to the interviewer's question with their own, often anodyne, 'sound bite'. These 'non-answers' can sound very convincing, and you have to be very alert to spot them!
From an interview on radio and/or television. Make a note of the tactics used by the interviewees and the ways that interviewers try to obtain answers. How successful are they? Identify those occasions where a 'non-answer' is accepted, and others where the interviewer does get a meaningful reply.
Probably one of the most important variables in communication is the ability to listen. Men and women listen very differently. Traditionally, we have heard from women that their number one complaint about men's communication is that men don't listen. However, I beg to differ. Men so listen; they just listen differently. I always say we have two ears and one mouth and should have gotten a clue about how to use our body parts. Women are generally perceived as better listeners than men because they are pros at "empathic listening." We know for example, that men and women would both prefer to self-disclose (share information of a personal nature) with a woman rather than a man. Why is this? Primarily because they are perceived to have the ability to empathize-feel as the other person feels, put oneself in another person's shoes; consequently, this interactive effect of the perception of women being able to empathize results in more people choosing women for self-disclosure. That is why I say women listen with two ears, one ear is for content, the verbal transcript, and the second is for feeling, the socio-emotional ear. As a woman listens, she hears the person's words, but simultaneously makes assumptions and conclusions ...