HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

Active Listening

  1. Identify a recent situation in which your listening suffered. Apply the five-stage model to examine the nature of the problems that affected your listening.
  2. Who do you know and consider to be an effective listener? What qualities does he or she possess? What key chapter concepts are most important in helping you understand why the person is an effective listener?
  3. What is one situation, relationship, or subject in your life where you are prone to ineffective listening? What is one idea from the chapter that you can apply to prevent or overcome your ineffective listening in this particular circumstance?
  4. Complete the Self-Quiz “Multitasking and Attention” on p. 150. How well did you think you paid attention when online before taking the quiz? How did that impression change after taking the quiz? What can you do to minimize your multitasking online?
  5. Think of a conversation in which you described something you felt was important, only to receive negative feedback from the listener. Perhaps someone “shot down” a suggestion or made fun of you for believing you could achieve a particular goal. What is the impact of negative feedback? Have you ever given unwarranted negative feedback in order to be hurtful? Can negative feedback ever be constructive? (Based on the Self-Reflection question on p. 153.)
  6. Describe a recent situation in which you listened with the incorrect purpose; for example,a friend needed you to listen to support but you listened to analyze. Discuss why you think this happened, and explore the results. Finally, how can you apply the idea of different listening purposes to improve your listening in the future? (Based on the Self-Reflection question on p. 160.)
  7. Complete the Self-Quiz “Discover Your Listening Styles” on p. 162. How do your results compare with the research findings about men’s and women’s style preferences? What do you conclude from the comparison? How can you use these results to develop your listening abilities?
  8. Our attributions of others can have an effect on our listening and cause us to be selective listeners. Think of a recent situation in which you have tuned out a communication partner—or paid attention to only certain things that person said—because of your perception of him or her. How could you have avoided this selective listening behavior.
  9. Access the “Tips on Effective Listening” page of clinical psychologist and marriage/family therapist Dr. Larry Alan Nadig’s Web site (http://www.drnadig.com/listening.htm). Scroll down to the section titled “Sources of Difficulty by the Listener.” Provide an example of how at least three of these sources have provided difficulty for you, and provide suggestions for how you might overcome these barriers.
  10. Author H. Jackson Brown, Jr., once said the following: “Everyone you meet knows something you don’t know but need to know. Listen and learn from them.” Provide anexample from your own life that demonstrates this sentiment.