Active Listening Skills

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Active Listening Skills Reflection Paper
EDL/531
Tonya Dean
2/17/13
Paula Baucom

I interviewed Ronnie Macko, a nurse educator at Select Medical Corporation and Chris Schillig a high school and college level English instructor. I had to conduct the interviews at separate times because of schedule conflicts. The interviews were conducted using the list of coaching/ mentoring questions that our team had developed in week 3. I will attach each instructor’s individual responses to the end of the paper for review.

During the instructor interviews active listening skills were used. Listening is used for many purposes. Listening is used to gain important information, gain understanding, learning, and also enjoyment. Most people retain approximately twenty-five to fifty percent of what we hear. In reality this translates to when we speak for about ten minutes we are lucky if the person we are addressing remembers half of what we have said. On the flip side, when we are the listeners we can easily see how we aren’t receiving the whole message. This can be a disaster if the part we are missing contains important information such as directions. Working at improving listening skills is very important. Improving listening skills and becoming a better listener can help increase productivity and also help avoid misunderstandings and conflict.

A way to improve listening skills is called active listening. Active listening involves making a conscious effort to hear as well as understand the message that is being sent by the person speaking. This involves paying close attention to the person as they are speaking. It is important to stay focused and engaged in the conversation. It is important to avoid becoming distracted and bored with the conversation.

During the interviews I practiced active listening skills. I also tried to show the instructor I was engaged in the conversation and wanted to hear and understand their responses to my questions. Ways of acknowledgment can include simple things as a head nod, simple replies such as yes or uh-huh so the speaker knows you are listening to what they are saying. Body language can also help indicate that you are listening and paying attention and will help keep the listener focused and avoid the mind from wandering. Responses during the conversation such as additional questions based on the conversation can help recap and clarify the communication occurring. This also helps the speaker know that you are understanding the message concepts they are conveying. Five components of active listening are; paying attention, showing that you are listening, providing feedback, deferring judgment, and responding appropriately. During the interviews I stayed focused on the instructor and what they were saying by looking at them directly. I used body language such as nodding and smiling to show that I was paying attention. I used paraphrasing to clarify certain points of the conversation. I also tried to summarize the speaker’s points to show I was listening. I allowed the speaker to finish their statements before asking another question. Interrupting is rude and frustrating to the speaker. It can also not allow them to make their full statement which can change the meaning of the statement. Finally I made sure I treated the speakers with the upmost respect. In conclusion, active listening is a skill that takes practice and constant remediation. Old habits are hard to break and I am one who is always thinking of other things and has to constantly refocus and make sure I am listening. This is an area I definitely need to work on and

improve. I was able to stay focused during the interviews and found the responses of the instructors helpful. I have done some mentoring of new employees and clinical education of respiratory skills but my experience in the education field is very limited. I felt the assignment was a nice way to connect the information that we have learned in class and...
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