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Listening Skills

Jaipuria Institute - PGP 2010 BC/Class4 1

Why You Need Good
Listening Skills
 better understand assignments and what is
expected of you
 build rapport with co-workers, bosses, and clients
 show support
 work better in a team-based environment
 resolve problems with customers, co-workers, and
 answer questions
 find underlying meanings in what others say

Jaipuria Institute - PGP 2010 BC/Class4 2

Ineffective Listening Habits
 Thoughts are elsewhere
 You think you will know what will be said next
 Distracted
 Thinking about what you are going to say
 Not listening from speaker’s perspective
 Bias or prejudice
 Language differences or accents
 Noise
 Worry, fear, or anger
 Lack of attention span

Jaipuria Institute - PGP 2010 BC/Class4 3

Which one are you?
Poor Listener Effective Listener
thinks and mentally summarizes, weighs the evidence,
tends to "wool-gather" with slow speakers
listens between the lines to tones of voice and evidence
subject is dry so tunes out speaker finds what's in it for me
fights distractions, sees past bad communication habits,
distracted easily
knows how to concentrate
takes intensive notes, but the more notes taken, the less has 2-3 ways to take notes and organize important
value; has only one way to take notes information
is overstimulated, tends to seek and enter into
doesn't judge until comprehension is complete
inexperienced in listening to difficult material; has
uses "heavier" materials to regularly exercise the mind
usually sought light, recreational materials
lets deaf spots or blind words catch his or her attention interpret color words and doesn't get hung up on them
holds eye contact and helps speaker along by showing
shows no energy output
an active body state
judges delivery -- tunes out judges content, skips over delivery errors
listens for facts listens for central ideas

From "Building a Professional Image: Improving Listening Behavior" by Philip Morgan and Kent Baker, Supervisory Management, November 1995

Jaipuria Institute - PGP 2010 BC/Class4 4

Body language for effective
 S.O.L.E.R.
 Squarely face the person

 Open your posture

 Lean towards the sender

 Eye contact maintained

 Relax while attending

 Show that you are listening

 Nod occasionally

 Smile and use other facial expressions

 Encourage the speaker to continue with small verbal

comments like yes, and uh huh
 Be at the same energy level as the speaker

Jaipuria Institute - PGP 2010 BC/Class4 5

Thoughts move 4 times as fast as speech: So as
a listener, you will be able to hear, think about
it, understand it and give feedback!
 Concentrate to listen well – don’t just hear
 Give the speaker your undivided attention: clear your mind so that
your attention is assured
 Avoid being distracted by environmental factors
 If you feel your mind is wandering, change your body position and concentrate
 Refrain from side conversations when listening in a group setting
 Don’t interrupt: it seems you are not listening
 Repeat their words mentally as they say it

 Recognize that what is not said also speaks loudly

 Watch for signals

 Listen to what he is not saying

 Postures, gestures, expressions, tones

 Avoid pre-judgment
 Remember the biggest barrier: Presumption!
 Be open minded: Don’t hear just what you want to hear

Jaipuria Institute - PGP 2010 BC/Class4 6

We were given two ears but only one
mouth. This is because God knew that
listening was twice as hard as talking.
 Extract main points
 Repeat to yourself the key words or phrases to fix it in your
 Pay attention to key words that follow phrases like, ‘my point
is…’; ‘the thing to remember is…’
 Give feedback: Show you understand
 Paraphrasing

 Clarifying

 Perception checking

 Summarizing

 Showing Empathy

 Asking open ended questions

 Make notes!

Jaipuria Institute - PGP 2010 BC/Class4 7

Active listening
 Paraphrasing: repeat in your own words what you have understood
 To test your understanding of what you heard
 To communicate that you are trying to understand what is being said
 ``She was foolish to quit her job.'‘ - ``I hear you saying that you believe she
shouldn't have quit.''

 Clarifying: Process of bringing vague material into sharper focus

 To untangle unclear or wrong listener interpretation
 To get more information
 To help the speaker see other points of view
 To identify what was said

 Perception Checking: Request for verification of your perceptions

 To give and receive feedback
 To check out your assumptions

 Open ended questions

Jaipuria Institute - PGP 2010 BC/Class4 8

Active Listening
 Summarizing: pulling together, organizing, and integrating the major
aspects of your dialogue.
 Pay attention to various themes and emotional overtones. Pout key

ideas and feelings into broad statements. DO NOT add new ideas.
 To give a sense of movement and accomplishment in the exchange

 To establish a basis for further discussion.

 Pull together major ideas, facts, and feelings

 Empathy: Reflection of content and feelings (You feel….because…)

 To show that you’re understanding the speaker’s experience

 To allow the speaker to evaluate his/her feelings after hearing them

expressed by someone else

 ``I get sick of working so much overtime!'' - ``I hear you feeling angry

and resentful at being asked to work so much overtime.''

Jaipuria Institute - PGP 2010 BC/Class4 9

Write out the feelings and
response to the following
 I am overwhelmed with work and can't get to your project yet.

 I am lost. I'll never get this job done. Can you help me with this?

 Why doesn't anyone understand how I feel? I try my hardest but it

never seems to matter. They still argue and fight all the time.

 I get so embarrassed in that group. Everyone seems so together

and with it. I'm afraid they would never accept me for who I am and
the way I feel.

 I want to thank you for making this the best day of my life. You are
all so special and wonderful. I love you all.

Jaipuria Institute - PGP 2010 BC/Class4 10

Understanding your

Jaipuria Institute - PGP 2010 BC/Class4 11

Research your audience
 Who will be there?
 Do they want to see you or were they forced to attend?
 What responsibilities do they have?
 What level in the organisation are they?
 Are they decision makers or will they have to persuade someone else?
 What will they expect from you?
 What do they already know?
 Will they all understand you - how technical can you, should you, be?
 Are they likely to ask questions
 Be prepared to adapt to an audience that wants you to: speak up, slow
down, use fewer technical terms, speak more clearly
 If it’s your first time, rehearse the presentation in front of an unbiased friend

Jaipuria Institute - PGP 2010 BC/Class4 12


 Talking down to an audience - people hate to

be patronised
 Showing that you know little or nothing about
them (at least know something about who
they are)
 Being totally unprepared for questions
 Knowing nothing about their current mood or

Jaipuria Institute - PGP 2010 BC/Class4 13

Thank You

Jaipuria Institute - PGP 2010 BC/Class4 14