Listening vs Hearing

Topics: Hearing, Sound, Active listening Pages: 2 (804 words) Published: February 10, 2013
Listening Vs. Hearing
Listening versus Hearing by Robert M. Sherfield, Ph.D. There are weighty differences between listening and hearing. Hearing is an automatic response while listening is a voluntary action. Hearing has little to do with choice, while listening has everything to do with choice. Think of it in this light: Just because you have hands, this does not make you a painter, sculptor, or carpenter. Just because you have feet, this does not make you a dancer or marathon runner. Thus, just because you have ears, this does not make you a listener. Stop reading for a moment and listen to the sounds around you. What are they? Do you hear traffic? Do you hear the buzz of a florescent light? Do you hear children playing, neighbors talking, or music in the background? If you can answer this question, you were listening. Yes! It is that simple. If you stopped to focus on the sounds around you, it was a voluntary decision and your hearing went a step further and turned into listening.

Test Your Listening Abilities
The only real test for listening is to listen. The following assessment will help you understand if you are using your listening skills to best advantage. Review the following statements and put a check by the statements that match your listening traits. 1. I tune out when something is boring to me.

2. I listen to the whole story before making a decision or coming to a conclusion. 3. I often begin formulating a response in my head as the other person talks. 4. I really try to understand the other person's point when listening. 5. Sometimes, I start listening on a negative note.

6. I objectively evaluate all information, regardless of the source. 7. My mind wanders to unrelated material when the speaker is talking. 8. I can tune out distractions such as noise when I am listening. 9. I judge the information before I truly understand what the speaker means. 10. I...
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