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Listening Skills

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Think about a skill that most people do not have but could benefit from mastering. why would people benefit from having this skill? What are the consequences of not having this certain skill.

I have come up with a few topics, but don't even know where to begin.
I like the first one, but if you can come up with something better, I would really appreciate it.

Here are some topics:
1. "listen" Properly and not just hear

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I am a guidance counselor so I definitely agree with your first choice. Listening, not hearing is also known as active listening. You are right that this is a skill that all people should possess and most do not. There is a big difference between hearing and listening. When someone is listening, they are actually retaining and processing what the other person is saying while at the same time having emotions. When someone just hears, they are "listening" just to please the other person but really don't care what is being told to them.

When someone is listening, they are comprehending the facts that are being told to them, and are paying attention to the emotional overtones. When people just hear, they often come across as not caring. People who listen are able to develop empathy and/or sympathy for their counterparts. Body language is also a sign of "listening", not hearing.

People who have good listening skills, get along with coworkers, friends and society members better. They are able to work together with different groups of people at any time and are often seen as reasonable. People who listen, not just hear are often looked at as being leaders and responsible.

Listening has many advantages - it is the most important form of communication and that is how many relationships form and last. Couples who listen to each other often have long lasting marriages, etc.

Hearing and not listening often leads to divorce among couples; children often get alienated and friendships fail.

If you have a parent who only hears, then they really do not care what their child if feeing and/or experiencing. They have a one track mind and are selfish.

Ways to improve listening skills are:

Part II: How to Listen (Attentive Listening Skills)

Listening Strategy and Skills

Your skill as a listener can make or break your success in leadership, teams, customer relationships, and negotiation.

Part II of the topic Listening Strategy and Skills is by businessLISTENING.com editor Bruce Wilson, a business coach for executives, professionals, and entrepreneurs.

Attentive listening means thinking and acting in ways that connect you with the speaker. While active listening usually happens naturally when we are very interested in what someone is saying, we can also choose to listen actively whenever we want to maximize the quality of our listening, both in terms of the effect it has on us and the effect it has on those we are speaking to. By contrast, when people "multi-task" while someone speaks, they rarely listen effectively.

Of course sometimes you will choose not to listen attentively. If listening is important to you, you may choose to reschedule that conversation. Otherwise you will multi-task (letting your mind wander thinking about something else, reading e-mail, doodling, etc.).

There are several simple steps you can take to improve your listening. The quality of information exchanged, your own experience as a listener, the experience of the person you are listening to, and your relationship with the listener will all benefit. The steps are:

Get Over Yourself, Give Them A Solo.

Stop Multi-tasking.

Recap regularly.

Use Connecting Words.

Use Body Language.

Get Over Yourself, Give Them A Solo.

If you assert your own position at every opening in a conversation you will eliminate many of the potential benefits of listening. In particular, people you are talking with will not feel respected by you, their thinking and brainstorming will be inhibited, and they may even withhold important information out of caution--or out of anger.

Wait until they finish making their points before you speak. Don't interrupt, even to agree with them, and don't jump in with your own suggestions before ...

Solution Summary

Skills required to be a good listener.

See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Improvement plan on basic listening skills

Areas to Strengthen and Improve

Self Assessment

- Nonverbal Behaviors - I need to work on having a more open posture and

keeping my legs uncrossed while talking with the client. Crossing my legs is a bad habit

I have in any situation but I need to work on not doing it when interviewing. I need to

improve on using gestures smoothly. My hands are still a distraction when I'm

talking. I need to work on keeping my hands lowered and focus more on speaking with my

overall body, than just my hands.

- Beginning the Interview - I need to strengthen my skills in explaining the limits of the interview such as timeframe and purpose.
- Reflection of Content - I need to improve on mirroring the gist of the comments.
- Reflection of Feeling - I need to improve on this area by checking up on my client to see if they are okay. I get so involved with their situation that I forget about their feelings. I also need to work on combining the reflection of feeling and content.
- Exploration - This was a poor category for me as I need to work on multiple areas. I need to improve on asking clarifying questions. Once again I was focused more on getting her help. I need to work on eliciting needed details and exploring important points. I did well on the key points but I could have gone into further detail.
- Establishing Rapport - Need to ask client about comfort level more often and check their comfort level.

Areas to Strengthen and Improve

Guest Feedback

- Nonverbal Behaviors - improve on keeping an 'open' posture when interviewing. Also need to improve on hand gestures and keeping them less distracting.
- Beginning the Interview - Need to improve on giving time limits and purpose of visits.
- Reflection of Feeling - Need to work on combining reflection of feeling and content.
- Establishing Rapport - I need to strengthen my skills in checking the comfort level of my interviewee.

Steps to Improve

- Nonverbal Behaviors - continue role-playing via video tape so I can watch myself back and critique my hand movements and having an open posture. I know that using your hands show that you're passionate about what your speaking on but I need to find the balance so that I can use my hands but not too much. I also will contact my local agency and see if I can participate in a mock interview with a professional clinician. I also will role-play in front of friends and family to get feedback on how I'm doing.
- Beginning the Interview - Study more on how to give a successful interview by researching interviews, practicing role-plays and responding to the feedback I get.
- Reflection of Content - I felt like I needed to work on this area because I wasn't quite mirroring the main points of the comments made by the client. My guest feedback disagreed and said this was one of my strongest areas. I watched the tape back again and noticed that I did model the important points of the interview and focused on outlining the main things that needed to be accomplished. But going forward I will continue to monitor this area when speaking and interviewing in my current job as well as role-playing.
- Reflection of Feeling - I will strengthen the area of combining reflection of feeling and content by listening, find the feeling of the client and define it and then reflect back what I understand the feeling to be. Also need to improve on making sure the interviewee is okay and ask how he/she is feeling. After watching the tape back, I saw that was so focused on the client's problems and the help she needed, I never asked if she was okay. I will work on this by role-playing and practicing with mock interviews.
- Exploration - I found many areas in this category that I need to work on and my guest saw me as competent in them so it's really good that you have another person observe your interview; I was apparently too hard on myself. But I found that I need to improve on asking clarifying questions by being more direct and to the point from the beginning of the interview.
Establishing Rapport - I will improve on asking the client about

Improvement Plan: When you have the completed Feedback Checklists (yours and the Guest Reviewer's), identify the areas that you need to strengthen and improve, and develop an Improvement Plan describing the observations made, the steps you will take to improve, and any other information on the Feedback Checklists, found at the end of this Syllabus. Submit your Improvement Plan and feedback sheets to your faculty member in

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