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5: Listening

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    Listening is a primary means through which we learn new information, which can help us meet instrumental needs as we learn things that help us complete certain tasks at work or school and get things done in general. The act of listening to our relational partners provides support, which is an important part of relational maintenance and helps us meet our relational needs. Listening to what others say about us helps us develop an accurate self-concept, which can help us more strategically communicate.

    • 5.1: Listening vs. Hearing
      “Are you listening to me?”  You may have been asked this question because the speaker thinks you are nodding off or daydreaming.  Many of us mistakenly think of listening as a “passive” activity.  We think we just need to sit there and let words wash over us.  Yet the reality is different.  Effective listening demands our active participation.
    • 5.2: Five Stages of Listening
      The listening process can be broken into five stages: receiving, understanding, remembering, evaluating, and responding.  In responding, there are multiple ways to provide feedback.
    • 5.3: Listening Styles and Types
      If listening were easy, and if all people went about it in the same way, teaching listening would be much easier. One reason for the complexity of teaching listening is that people have ways of listening and there are various types of listening.
    • 5.4: Poor Listening Habits
      The difficulty of listening lies both in poor listening habits and factors that interfere with listening.
    • 5.5: Improving Listening Competence
      A competent listener engages in critical listening.


    This page titled 5: Listening is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Lisa Coleman, Thomas King, & William Turner.