Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Fourth Step To Listening

The fourth step for successful listening is to use your mind to help you understand and evaluate what is said. When someone talks, you need to clarify, interpret, and examine the message.

Another word for clarification is to make clear. When you clarify, you make sure that you heard the speaker. At this stage of listening, you are getting the facts straight.

Another word for interpret is explain. Once you've heard the message, you may need further explanation. Don't assume you've got the interpretation the first time. People come  from all walks of life. Have you ever been in a group discussion, only to find out later that all people had a different understanding of what was said?

Once you understand what the speaker said, you may need to take a closer look at the message. You may need to think about whether you agree or disagree with it. The way or "process," that you use to examine information; is based on your use of filters. An unexamined "filter" will affect the way that you process what a speaker says to you.

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Third Step To Listening

The third step to successful listening is to use your eyes. When someone speaks, they use more than their words. Their body language also "speaks." And ninety percent of language is nonverbal. So, it's important to check out their facial expressions, posture and gestures, to get a better idea of the underlying message. You can do this two ways: 1) ask questions when you don't understand something, and 2) put the message in your own words.

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(Excerpt from Communication (is easy) from the Inside-Out. 7 Steps to Your Personal Power -- Bob Roza)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Second Step To Listening

The second step to better listening is to listen carefully to what the speaker says and how they say it.

The Speaker's Words

When someone speaks to you; it's important to listen for word choice. You need to make sure you hear the words correctly within the context of the conversation. Words can take on different meanings depending on how the speaker uses them. This is especially tricky with the foreign speaker. You may not be listening for knowledge but because it's just nice to hear them speak. Think of the first time you heard a foreign speaker. Were you caught off guard with their speech patterns? If you did, you lost the communication intent. But, if you lost the intent from the beginning, it was hard to catch up; because the majority of the message (or conversation) was already shared.

Foreign or dialectical speakers are prime examples of how you can lose your chance to listen; since you just like hearing them talk. You may try to listen but not understand them. You may miss sound differences or listen without evaluating what you hear.

The Speaker's Tone of Voice

It's important  to notice the person's tone of voice. How a speaker says something can change the meaning of what they say. A person's tone of voice can tell you how they feel about something. When a person is intense, can you identify what emotion (anger, sadness, frustration) they project?

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(Excerpt from Communication (is easy) from the Inside-Out. 7 Steps to Your Personal Power. Bob Roza)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The First Step To Listening

The first step to being a better listener is to get rid of the obstacles that keep you from hearing the "message." Here's something to think about:

Poor Reception

If you can't hear clearly, you won't be able to listen. Make sure you are close enough to hear what the person is saying, and the speaker is not talking so loud, that others are staring.

Outside Distractions

It's very hard to listen when things are around you that take your attention from the speaker. In order to give your "full attention," do the following:
  • find a place that's quiet
  • eliminate the distractions
  • ignore the distractions and focus on what you're hearing

Inside Distractions

It's hard to listen to someone when you have "chatter" in your head. In order to give the speaker your full attention, you may need to:
  • put the thoughts out of your mind
  • suggest that the conversation take place at another time (when you can focus better)

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(Excerpt from Communication (is easy) from The Inside-Out. 7 Steps to Your Personal Power) Bob Roza

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Language and YOU!

Language in any form, is never innocent. The second you speak; the words you use with others and yourself, leave an impression. Every word you say, leaves a mark. Be careful about what you think and say.

You talk to yourself all day. Do you speak positively: creating or cheering yourself on; or negatively: focusing on the mistakes you've made? You ALWAYS have a choice.

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