The Hearing vs. Learning video at the beginning of the training immediately caught my attention. The speaker discusses how hearing is involuntary and listening is voluntary. I have never thought about the difference between the two. It makes sense to think that I have to want to listen to something and only hear what I think is important or pertains directly to me or my situation. It makes the saying “in one ear and out the other” a bit more realistic.
When you are not listening you also are not engaged in what is taking place around you. You are not focused 100% and probably will not be able to answer questions asked of you or be able to ask your own questions. The speaker or person talking will also know that I was not listening because I am not responding in ways that acknowledge I understand the content being presented. When you do not respond then it becomes obvious to others that you were not actually listening.
Ineffective listening really reached out to me as I find myself guilty of this practice often. I tend to always check my emails, text messages, or just surf the net while someone is speaking. I think most of society struggles with this because we are too busy worrying about what is happening away from us to actually focus and listen to what is being said right in front of us. I also find myself guilty of selective listening, where I hear only what I want to hear. I am so guilty of making mental lists of things I need to do while someone is speaking.
The more I delve into learning the administration process the more I have learned how often the types of listening responses are necessary. Body language says so much about what someone is thinking or doing and it shows that you are actually listening and not just hearing. I use paraphrasing and empathy in my classroom on a daily basis. I ask it of my students and they see me demonstrate it during daily lessons. Effective listening is an important part of communication. Being an effective listener involves concentration, determination, and care for someone else’s thoughts and opinions. Effective listening takes a voluntary effort and focus to master. I now find myself using the skills I have learned in this training in my every day conversations.
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