CHAPTER 7: Listening and Responding
Chapter Overview - This chapter begins with the learning outcome summaries and terms covered in the chapter, followed by a set of lesson plans for you to use to deliver the content in Chapter 7. • Learning Outcomes
• Key Terms
• Lesson Plan for Lecture
• Lesson Plan for Group Work
• Video Materials
• Student Assignments
• Supplementary Student Assignments
• Test Bank Materials
1 List techniques for improving focus in the listening process Listening is the complex process that encompasses attending, understanding, remembering, evaluating, and responding with support and comfort. Attending is the process of selecting and focusing on specific stimuli from the countless ones that we receive. We can be more effective in attending if we (1) get ready both physically and mentally, (2) make the shift from speaker to listener complete (don’t rehearse), (3) hear a person out before responding, and (4) observe nonverbal clues.
2 Examine ways for improving understanding of messages
Understanding is the process of decoding a message so that the meaning accurately reflects that intended by the speaker. Empathizing, which is identifying with or vicariously experiencing the feelings of another, can increase understanding. We can also increase understanding by asking questions to clarify and get details and by paraphrasing the speaker’s content and feelings.
3 Discuss how to better retain information
Remembering is the process of retaining information so it can be recalled when it is needed. By repeating information, using mnemonics, and taking notes, we can increase the likelihood that we will remember what we hear.
4 Explain how to evaluate and critically analyze the truthfulness of messages Critical analysis is the process of evaluating what has been said to determine its truthfulness. Critical analysis is especially important when a speaker is asking you to believe, act on, or support what is being said. One important skill of critical analysis is to separate statements of fact from inferences. Statements of fact should be analyzed to see if they are true. Inferences should be tested to see if they are valid. Three questions can help us to test inferences: (1) What facts support this inference? (2) Is the information really central to the inference? (3) Are there other facts that would contradict the inference?
5 Identify steps for responding supportively and giving comfort Responding with support and comfort helps people feel better about themselves and their behavior. Effective support messages are those that aim to help, accept others, demonstrate concern, show one’s willingness to listen and be an ally, acknowledge and validate the speaker’s feelings, and encourage elaboration. When we give comfort, we should use messages that clarify our intentions, practice politeness, are other-centered, reframe the situation, and offer advice on issues the speaker cannot seem to resolve.
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