Monday, December 7, 2009

Hearing and Listening Skills

Hearing and Listening are not the same thing. Hearing is the act of perceiving sound. It is involuntary and simply refers to the reception of aural stimuli. Listening is a selective activity which involves the reception and the interpretation of aural stimuli. In involves decoding the sound into meaning.
Listening is divided into two main categories: passive and active.
• Passive Listening: Occurs when the receiver of the message has little motivation to listen carefully.
• Active Listening: Requires the receiver to hear the various messages, understand the meaning, and then verify the meaning by offering feedback.

Barriers of Communication

• Culture, background, and bias: We allow our experiences to change the meaning of the message.
• Noise: Equipment or environmental noise impedes clear communication. The sender and the receiver must be able to concentrate on the messages being sent to each other.
• Ourselves: Focusing on ourselves, rather than the other person can lead to confusion and conflict.
• Perception: We listen uncritically to persons of high status and dismiss those of low status.
• Message: Distractions happen when we focus on the facts rather than the idea.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Book about communication skills

Communication and Listening

The world would be a better place to live and work if we communicated and listened to each other. Are You Listening? Keys to Successful Communication by Paul J. Donaghue and Mary Siegel is a book about how to become better listeners. These psychologists, who are in private practice, have been on TV about their work. They studied the ways people don’t listen. We fail to admit that we listen poorly and sometimes we only want to listen to what matters to us. Listening is a very important skill everyone needs to practice and learn. Listening opens people to the world and those around us who matter the most. So how should we listen? We should first listen to ourselves. Then we should listen and acknowledge what the speaker says, even if we don’t agree with it, before expressing your experience or point of view. A speaker can communicate through his body language. Our body language can also indicate also we are not good listeners. We may become defensive to what the speaker says. Sometimes we can identify with the speaker when a similar experience happens to us. There can be many blocks to listening such as fear, conflict, and lack of time. Sometimes we can be defensive when we listen to the speaker and what he or she has to say. When we get defensive, then we shut the speaker out. Developing a better ear for listening can show us how to respond better. If we listen, we can learn and grow, but it takes time.
Language is an expression of our thoughts and feelings. Its function is to communicate. It doesn’t have to be in the form of words spoken. Fifty per cent of messages communicated are through body language. Body language is a form of nonverbal communication. The book, Understanding Body Language by Geoff Ribbens and Richard Thompson tells us body movement and posture can add to the words we speak. The authors studied the body language of people. This book discusses about using body language in getting jobs. Your body language can give one a first impression. The body language such as facial expression, body movement and gestures can tell us something about the person. We can tell a person’s attitude such as anger or excitement by their body language. If you understand body language, then you can understand other people and communicate with them.
Both of these books are good resources to improve communication and listening. Our body language can indicate how we communicate and listen. If we become a better listener, then we can improve our communication. Then the world would be a better place to work and live in.

Jonathan McLellan

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Communication Skills Pictures

Listening Skills-Key Terms

1. Hearing: Is the process in which sound waves strike the eardrum and cause vibrations that are transmitted to the brain.
2. Listening: Occurs when the brain reconstructs these electrochemical impulses into a representation of the original sound and then gives them meaning.
3. Attending: The act of paying attention to a signal.
4. Understanding: The process of making sense of a message.
5. Responding: Consists of giving observable feedback to the speaker.
6. Remembering: The act of recalling previously introduced information.
7. Residual message: (what we remember) is a small function of what we hear.
8. Pseudolistening: Is an imitation of the real thing.
9. Selective listeners: Respond only to the parts of a speaker’s remarks that interest them, rejecting everything else.
10. Defensive listeners: Take innocent comments as personal attacks.
11. Ambushers: Listen carefully and collect information to attack what you have to say.
12. Insulated listeners: are almost the opposite of their selective listening cousins.
13. Insensitive listeners: Are the final example of people who don’t receive another person’s messages clearly.
14. Stage hogs: Try to turn the topic of conversations to themselves instead of showing interest in the speaker.
15. Content-oriented listeners: are most interested in the quality of messages they hear.
16. People-oriented listeners: Are especially concerned with creating and maintaining positive relationships.
17. Action-oriented readers: Are most concerned with the task at hand.
18. Time-oriented readers: Are most concerned with efficiency.
19. Informational listening: Is the approach to take when you want to understand another person.
20. Sincere questions: Are aimed at understanding others.
21. Counterfeit questions: Are really disguised attempts to send a message, not a receive one.
22. Paraphrasing: Involves restating in your own words the message you thought the speaker had just sent, without adding anything new.
23. Critical listening: Is to judge the quality of a message in order to decide whether to accept or reject it.
24. Empathic listening: The goal is to build a relationship or help the speaker solve a problem.
25. Advising: To help by offering a solution.
26. Judging response: Evaluates the sender’s thoughts or behaviors in some way.
27. Questioning: Help others think about their problems and understanding them more clearly.
28. Prompting: Involves using silences and brief statements of encouragement to draw others out.

Listening Skills

Listening Skills occurs when the brain reconstructs these electrochemical impulses into representation of the original sound and then fives them meaning. Listening Skills qualifies as the most prominent kind of communication. One study revealed that of their total communicating time, college students spent an average of 14 percent writing, 16 percent speaking, 17 percent reading, and a whopping 53 percent listening. A study examining the links between listening and career success revealed that better listeners rose to higher levels in their organizations. Listeners don’t always respond visibility to a speaker. Good listeners showed that they were attentive by nonverbal behaviors such as keeping eye contact and reacting with appropriate facial expressions. When two or more people are listening to more people are listening to a speaker, we tend to assume that they all are hearing and understanding the same message. Ninety percent of first grade children could repeat what the teacher had been saying, and 80 percent of the second graders could do so; but when the experiment was repeated with teenagers, the results were much less impressive. Only 44 percent of junior high students and 28 percent of senior high students could repeat their teacher’s remarks. Research suggests that adults listen even more poorly at least in some important relationships. One experiment found that people listened more attentively and courteously to strangers than to their spouses.

Communication Skills-Key Terms

1. Channel: Medium through which a message passes from sender to receiver.
2. Communication: Refers to the process of human beings responding to the symbolic behavior of other persons.
3. Communication Competence: Ability to maintain a relationship on terms acceptable to all parties.
4. Coordination: Describe situations in which participants interact smoothly, with a high degree of satisfaction but without necessarily understanding one another self.
5. Decoding: The process in which a receiver attaches meaning to a message.
6. Dyad: A two-person unit.
7. Encoding: The process of putting thoughts into symbols, most common words.
8. Environment: Refers to the personal experiences and cultural backgrounds that participants bring to a conversation.
9. Feedback: The discernible response of a receiver to a sender’s message.
10. Interpersonal Communication: Communication in which the parties consider one another as unique individuals rather than as objects.
11. Intrapersonal Communication: Communication that occurs within a single person.
12. Linear Communication Model: A characterization of communication as a one-way event in which a message flows from sender to receiver.
13. Mass Communication: Consists of messages that are transmitted to large, widespread audiences via electronic and print media.
14. Message: A sender’s planned and unplanned words and nonverbal behaviors.
15. Noise: Describe any forces that interfere with effective communication.
16. Public Communication: Occurs when a group becomes too large for all members to contribute.
17. Receiver: Decodes the message.
18. Sender: Encodes ideas and feelings.
19. Small Group Communication: Every person participates with other members.
20. Symbol: Are used to represent things, processes, ideas, or events in ways that make communication possible.
21. Transactional Communication Model: A characterization of communication as the simultaneous sending and receiving of messages in an outgoing, irreversible process.