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Being a good listener

Chapter 5 teaches me that being a good listener changes the perception of people towards me. I could easily be labelled as a good boss, the best employee, a romantic partner or even be a successful entrepreneur by the simple act of listening. I learnt that pretending to listen does not count and people can easily see that. Other advantages of listening are that people cannot easily fool you and it makes you considerate. I was surprised that listening and not speaking is a sign of leadership.

Chapter five taught me a few myths about listening. I learnt that you can hear someone but not really listen to them because listening requires that you attach meaning to what they are saying. I learnt that listening has several stages. After hearing, one has to pay attention to what they heard. Then one has to make sense of what they heard. The next step is responding to the person that was speaking to show that you understand.  Remembering is the last step in the listening process. The second myth about listening is that it is natural to people. Instead, I learnt that it is a perfected skill and people know when you are not listening. I also now know that people in the same crowd listen differently and therefore receive different messages.Being a good listener

I learnt that there are several reasons why we don’t listen very well or at all. One is that we may be having lots of thoughts of our own we consider more important than what someone else is telling us. The noise around us from various sources like TV and radio makes us hearers more than listeners. A rapid thought to fill in the time when someone is speaking also prevents us from listening. The noises within our environment and hearing problems also prevent people from listening. The culture one comes from also influences listening because there are rules of what to do or not to do during listening. I also learnt that the way media presents information has influenced people to give attention to small bits of information which reduces listening for longer spans of time.

I learnt that pseudo listeners, selective listeners, defensive listeners, ambushers, insulated listeners, insensitive listeners, stage hogs and conversational narcist, all listen for the wrong reasons. Other types of listening however are important in leading a successful life. Task oriented listening is important in team work. Relational listening brings people together because they understand each other. Analytic listening seeks the truth. Critical listening looks for value addition. Listening involves letting the other person know that you are listening by giving them supportive responses. They are however not supportive in all cases and one has to know what to say and where to say it.

The video ‘Danny and Annie’ stands out because they have a very supportive relationship. There is a lot of supportive behaviour between the two such as comforting and reflecting. Hearing their story gives me hope that people can listen in relationship, one just has to make a conscious decision to do it. I will use listening to make the other person feel special and heard and not dismissed.  The video ‘5 ways to listen better’ emphasizes on receptiveness, attentiveness, summarise and ask. It gives 5 simple ways to listen better. Silence, listening out for particular sounds, enjoying mundane sounds and appropriate listening positions are some exercises for improving listening. From the video I also learnt that listening has to be conscious and the reasons we no longer listen better nowadays is because we can write or record material.Being a good listener


All these takeaways will affect the way I listen from now on. I will be a conscious listener and listen because it is a choice. I will also know what to look out for when I am trying to listen because I now know what distracts listeners. I will be a better supporter when I am listening to another person. I will now attempt to give meaning to everything I hear. I will build on relationships by listening better to other people.

The readings and the video relate to me as a student because there are very many avenues to listen as a student. I need to listen to lecturers to get an education. I have to listen to my friends to understand them better and form lifetime friendships. As a student, I know that the skill of listening will determine the kind of employee I am in the future and if I get to be a leader or not. This chapter has changed my perspective about listening. As a student, it is very easy to be a polite listener meaning I pretend to listen so that the lecturer is not offended. This readings however have me as a student understand that listening is beyond school but something I will have to do for the rest of my life, if I need to be successful. As a student, this chapter also makes me wiser because I cannot be easily fooled; I know what is true and what is not. As a student, I may now make better grades than I usually do because I now know what listening entails so I will now get better at getting what the message from different lectures. This chapter reflects the behaviour of most students with poor listening habits and teaches us better listening techniques.Being a good listener