Hearing involves the accurate reception of sounds. To hear, you must focus your attention on the speaker, discriminate among sounds, and concentrate. Chapter 3 introduces the physiological aspects of hearing and the principles that govern attention. In addition to learning techniques that improve your concentration, you will also be introduced to the effects of listener apprehension and the importance of nonverbal attending behaviours.
The ability to understand what you hear, listening comprehension, improves with practice. A number of processes involved in comprehension are intrapersonal; that is, they take place inside your head. This section familiarizes you with the nature of human information processing and the concept of inner speech. You learn guidelines to help you improve your understanding of message as you develop strategies to build your vocabulary, ask appropriate questions, and take efficient notes.
There has been a great deal of research on memory. Remembering is essential if you intend to apply what you have heard in future situations. This chapter acquaints you with the three basic memory systems and the work that has been done in listening training and assessment with regard to the memory process. You will learn key techniques for retaining and recalling information as well as the obstacles that inhibit memory. Creative approaches to problem-solving are also addressed.
When you interpret message you do two things. First, you take into accounts the total communication context so that you are better able to understand the meaning of what is said from the speaker’s point of view. Your ability to empathize, or to see a situation from the other person’s perspective, requires that you pay attention to emotional meaning and to the communicate context. Second, effective listeners let their partners know that they have been understood. This chapter, then, introduces you to topics related to nonverbal communication such as facial expression, body posture, eye behaviour, silence, and vocal cues so that you can develop greater sensitive to these important dimensions of the communication context.
You listen from a unique point of view and are influenced by your perceptual filters- your past experiences, attitudes, personal values, and predispositions. It is therefore impossible not to evaluate, to some extent, everything you hear. Understanding the principles of logic and reasoning, and recognizing bias, stereotyping, propaganda, and other factors that may influence the conclusions you draw, is essential. Effective listeners, as you might suspect, deliberately reduce the influence of their own view- point until they have first understood the speaker’s ideas. Objectively, in this sense, is prerequisite to making wise evaluations. This unit sensitises you to language and propaganda, and provides guidelines for assessing speaker credibility.
Your partner makes judgements regarding the quality of your listening based largely on the nature of your response. As you will learn in Chapter 2, our approach to communication views each participant as both speaker and listener. The HURIER model incorporates your response as an integral part of the listening process. This approach suggests that effective listeners analyze the communication situation and purpose, and then choose an appropriate response from among alternatives. Once again, you can see the listening is prerequisite to formulating an appropriate response.