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Effective Observation and Listening

Observe two people having a face-to-face conversation that lasts about 2 minutes. I: Where is the conversation taking place? Who are the communicators? What examples of the listening process—attending, interpreting, responding, remembering—do you see? Are any steps in the process missing? Why? What obstacles to effective listening are present? Are the obstacles overcome during the conversation? How? What effective listening behaviors might have been used by the communicators to overcome or even avoid the obstacles?

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An example I have seen recently of two people having a face-to-face conversation is with a husband and wife who are talking in their home. I noticed all of the listening process stages being demonstrated.

Attending - Both parties treated the issue as it was important and needed to be discussed and dealt with presently.

Interpreting - For the most part, both the husband and wife seemed to understand each other's concerns but there was a minor hang up on the husband's part regarding a specific concern the wife had. The husband did get a bit defensive ...

Solution Summary

Effective observations and listening is examined for face-to-face conversations. The examples of the listening processes are determined.