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Part I: Why Should You Listen? > What Do You Know about Listening?

Chapter 3. What Do You Know about Listening?

Write T for true or F for false next to each of the following questions about listening in order to check your present awareness of this important communication skill.

1: People who get the facts right are always good listeners.
A: F. (Facts are only part of most messages. Good listeners listen for opinion, emotion, and distortion as well.)
2: Listening involves more than your ears.
A: T. (To listen well, open your eyes, use your brain, your heart, and your intuition.)
3: Hearing is the same as listening.
A: F. (Hearing is the first step, but you must also interpret, evaluate, and respond to the message.)
4: Good listening comes naturally when we pay attention.
A: F. (Paying attention is important, but you must also be able to understand the message, and you must care about the person and/or the message.)
5: You can listen well and do other things at the same time.
A: F. (Many people pride themselves in being able to “multi-task,” but the more you try to do, the more you scatter your attention. Good listening is focused attention.)
6: Posture affects listening.
A: T. (Your body and mind and spirit work together. If your body is slumped and lumpy, it gives the mind and spirit the same signals. Remember your parents’ and teachers’ admonitions: “Sit up and listen!”)
7: Most listening distractions can be controlled.
A: T. (Most can, but not all. If you are distracted, mention it, move, or do something about it. When that doesn’t work, ignore it.)
8: If you can’t remember something, you weren’t really listening.
A: F. (Yes, memory is an “overlay” of listening, but you may need to remember something for only a short time. We can’t consciously remember everything we heard in the past, but if we were able to listen and act on the information effectively at the time, we were listening.)
9: Listening is a passive activity.
A: F. (Listening is anything but passive. Your eyes dilate, your palms perspire, and your body is erect. Your mind is active and your energy is focused.)
10: Good listeners never interrupt.
A: F. (If the speaker says something you do not understand, interrupt politely and ask for clarification. Otherwise, you will lose the meaning of what follows. Taking notes helps.)



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