Steve Jobs: Stanford University Commencement Speech - Responsive Listening Essay

Topics: Active listening, Hearing, Communication Pages: 3 (856 words) Published: November 2, 2010
Jessica Thornton
Deborah Moldenhauer
COM 101: Intro. To Communication
13 October 2010
Listening is more involved than simply hearing. In order to listen to someone you must concentrate on what you are hearing and focus on the speaker. This essay will discuss the challenges and skills regarding listening everyday and, in particular, regarding the video of Steve Jobs commencement speech at Stanford University: How to live before you die. In this speech Mr. Jobs tells three personal stories of his own life experiences and relates them to everyone’s life, the lessons we should learn and the challenges we will face.

People have a tendency to either be passive or active listeners. Active listening is done for a purpose. There are three kinds of active listening. They are: informational listening, critical listening and emphatic listening. Passive listening requires no more than hearing because the only person involved is the sender, like watching television. It is clear that some of the new graduates shown during their commencement speech are simply hearing Mr. Jobs. It is made obvious by the distant look on their faces or the fact that they are discussing something amongst themselves while Mr. Jobs is talking. There are factors that interfere with listening, such as external noise and internal noise. External noise can divert your attention from the speaker when you hear another person talking or maybe a television in another room. In the same way internal noise can affect your ability to affectively listen as well. Perhaps some of the receivers in the audience at Mr. Jobs speech have some personal issues to think about, considering they are graduating from college today, this is an easy assumption to make. Maybe some of them are having a hard time concentrating on the speaker because they are warm being outside in the sun or maybe thinking...
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