Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

1.8. Listen, interpret and analyse to spoken input for detail

ryanrori January 24, 2021

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The Business of Listening:

  • To listen effectively is to reach clarity of understanding
  • To understand clearly is to respond appropriately
  • To respond appropriately is to enhance communication
  • To enhance communication is to support cooperation
  • To support cooperation is to improve morale
  • To improve morale is to increase job commitment
  • To increase job commitment is to focus on productivity
  • Listening is good business

(Bone, Diane, The Business of Listening, 1998, Crisp Publications Inc. Ontario, Canada)

It would seem that we do not listen effectively; in fact, while we are at work, we normally listen at about 25% of our listening capacity. Everybody can improve their listening if they have the desire, the interest, a high level of concentration, self-discipline and a positive attitude. How do we do this? Let’s look at some of the reasons why and how:

Listening is receiving information through your ears and your eyes. It is giving meaning to that information as well as deciding what you think or feel about it. Lastly listening is responding to what you have heard.

In the workplace we spend many hours listening in the various activities that we are involved in. Let’s look at some examples:

  • Meetings or lectures
  • Counselling – essentially on a one-to-one basis.
  • Receiving or giving instructions
  • Using the telephone
  • Helping others
  • Decision making

There are many benefits to listening, such as:

  • Improve your ability to solve problems
  • Improve your working and social relationships
  • Improve your memory
  • Listening will also improve your concentration and in doing so will help you control any distractions while you are studying.

These benefits alone are reason enough to improve our listening skills, so how do we do that?

Effective listening is a skill that demands energy and know-how. It is also a matter of choice. We choose to listen when:

  • The message is important to us
  • We are interested in the subject
  • We actually feel like listening
  • We have listened to this kind of information before.

Listening to Spoken Input

We are not always aware of how much information comes to us through hearing it, but to make the most of this, we need to actively listen rather than just hear sound.

Listening well means staying focused on what is being said.

In the following Activity, you will be asked to listen for:

  • Detail – where the information is stated directly in the text
  • Interpretation – where the idea is there but not stated directly

Analysis – where you add your own idea: you have to sort out some information in the text to get an answer, or assess something in order to give an opinion.