I need a paper with a minimum of 2 references on Listening Skills. Not looking for something that has been copied and pasted from other sourcesListening skills is a learned quality that most conversationalists take years to develop. Most people do not possess effective listening skills in which case their attention span is limited and a person's mind begins to travel when someone is speaking. Effective listening requires much more involvement than an occasional glance and a nod of the head to inform the communicator that his/her voice is being heard. I can recall a time where an individual was speaking to me and I completely spaced out (my mind was wandering) and I offered a periodic nod and smile in order to appease the communicator to show him/her that I was paying attention when in fact I checked out within the first five minutes. Paul Treuter (2006) creates a simplistic view of the fundamental framework of effective or active listening skills. Listening requires the communicator and listener to be interactive. The objective is to make the communicator feels as though their views, comments, concerns, and suggestions are being heard. A listener must refrain from passing judgment on the communicator regardless of the opposition of conflicting beliefs or viewpoints. Treuter (2006) developed a guideline of effective listening skills which include the following:
1) Maintain eye contact-you want to ensure the communicator that he/she has your undivided attention. For example, when an individual is giving a presentation he/she will have the opportunity to span the room and decipher who is attentive to their speech and who is not. As an observer of many PowerPoint presentations I have witnessed many successful and unsuccessful presentations and have arrived at the conclusion that the communicator also has an active role to play when getting his/her point across. In essence, a communicator's ability to deliver a message will begin to deteriorate if he/she feels as their audience is losing. Rule of thumb: a speaker has a small window of opportunity (less than five minutes) to grab their audience's attention.
2) Avoid distractions-people often have internal and external distractions (Elmhurst College, 2010) most of which can be controlled with determination and effort. The internal distractions consists of our continuous dwelling on the day's events with family, social and work life; processing information that dramatically affects our overall functionality. The internal distractions are what enable us to become detached from the current situation and focus on past issues instead of focusing on the here and the now. External distractions consist of circumstances we come in contact with on a daily basis such as; television, children, spouse, cellular telephones, etc. All of the aforementioned distractions hinder our ability to offer our undivided attention to the speaker.
3) Treat listening as a challenging mental task-as we eagerly approach our listening techniques we should develop a mental dialogue of questions to ask the communicator. This method will demonstrate that the information communicated was not idle or did not go in one ear and out of the other. During job interviews one of the final questions an interviewer asks is "do you have any questions for me?" which is a reasonable question considering the fact that the interviewee is bombarded with questions that determine whether an individual is an organizational fit for their company. Therefore, asking questions enables the listener to gain clarity and more insight of the information being presented and it shows the communicator that you are paying attention.
4) Identify key points to discuss within the conversation this also shows the communicator that you are actively engaged in the conversation. Often times a person can detect whether or not you are paying attention and will ask you about the last issue that was brought up in the current conversation. If the listener stumbles and is unable to recite the most recent phrase or topic within the conversation, the communicator will be offended.
Elmhurst College Learning Center (2010) identified the most important factors of active listening
5) Capitalize on your faster thought speed. Use this time wisely.
-- Predict what will be discussed next.
-- Evaluate evidence presented.
-- Find links among topics or details." (Elmhurst College, 2010).
6) Listen for transitions-all conversations have a beginning, middle, and ending, it is the obligation to the listener to determine what the transitions are in everyday conversation. Identifying transitions will enable the listener to speak at right time and ask pertinent questions to gain clarity.