Ten Bad Listening Habits

Ten Bad Listening Habits - WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT LISTENING...

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WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT LISTENING Ralph G. Nichols The Supervisor's Notebook, Scott, Foresman & Co. Vol. 22, No. 1, Spring 1960 The business of becoming a good listener primarily consists of getting rid of bad listening habits and replacing them with their counterpart skills. TEN BAD LISTENING HABITS Several years ago I identified what seemed to me to be the ten worst listening habits in America today. Though my discussion of them here is in relation to the ways they may affect us in a formal listening situation, the effects of these habits can be just as devastating in less formal listening situations at home, at school, in business or social groups. 1. Calling the Subject Dull Bad listeners often finds a subject too dry and dusty to command their attention and they use this as an excuse to wander off on a mental tangent. Good listeners may have heard a dozen talks on the same subject before, but they quickly decide to see if the speaker has anything that can be of use to them. The key to good listening is that little three-letter word use. Good listeners are sifters, screeners, and winnowers of the wheat from the chaff. They are always hunting for something practical or worthwhile to store in the back of their mind to put to work in the months and years ahead. G.K. Chesterton said many years ago that in all this world there is no such thing as an uninteresting subject, only uninterested people. 2. Criticizing the Speaker It's the indoor sport of most bad listeners to find fault with the way a speaker looks, acts, and talks. Good listeners may make a few of the same criticisms but they quickly begin to pay attention to what is said, not how it is said. After a few minutes, good listeners become oblivious to the speaker's mannerisms or his/her faults in delivery. They know that the message is ten times as important as the clothing in which it comes garbed.
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