Being a good listener is a critical part of effective communication. Without it, you’re unlikely to be a good manager Therefore, the purpose of this assignment is to help you develop your listening skills. And there’s no other way to do that than to talk to someone whose views are quite different from yours. In the best of situations, being a good listener is difficult. Because of perceptual filters, distractions, or daydreams, we retain only about 25 percent of what we hear When we’re talking with people who have very different views and opinions, it can be almost impossible to be good listeners. We tend to interrupt, jump to conclusions about what they’ll say, and hurry them to finish their points (which we dent want to listen to anyway) so that we can ‘correct” their thinking with your own opinions.
To complete this assignment, you’ll have to find someone who has different views or opinions on some topic (handgun control, abortion, capital punishment, and euthanasia are just some of the topics on which you can always find someone with a different viewpoint). Once you’ve found someone, conduct a 10-minuoe listening session, following this simple rule: Before stating your opinion, you must first accurately re0ect or paraphrase the statement that your listening partner just made (be sure to reread Subsection 3.2 on listening).
For example, suppose that your listening partner says, “Women shouldn’t have to ask anyone for permission for what they do to their bodies. If they decide they want an abortion, they should go ahead and have it” Before making your point or disagreeing with your partner you will have to accurately paraphrasing a statement, ask the other person to repeat the statement, and try again. Also, don’t parrot the statement by repeating it word for word. Good listening isn’t mimicry. It’s capturing the essence of what others have said in your own words. And before your listening partner responds, he or she, too, has to accurately paraphrase what you say. Continue this listening-based discussion for 10 minutes
- Was this discussion different from the way you normally discuss contentious topics with other people? Why or why not?
- Was it difficult to reflect or paraphrase your listening partner’s perspectives? Explain and give an example.
- Did active listening techniques or empathetic listening techniques lead to more effective listening for you? Explain.