For my PR Applications class we frequently do what is called NewsU. NewsU is a website full of free courses that can be very useful for journalism or PR students to gain tips and skills for a future career.
The last course I took was called “Lousy Listeners” – which, of course, is about lousy listeners!
One thing I learned from this course is that I am not a good listener. I knew I was not a good listener already, however, this course justified it. Seeing as how many people are “lousy listeners”, the course offers some tips.
Helpful tips include:
- Listen to what is meant, not to ready for a reply
- Put yourself in the speaker’s shoes; how does the world look to him
- We think faster than another speaks; keep thought on what the other is saying
- Expect the speaker to say what he means in different words than you would use
- Following these tips, alone, will significantly help with poor listening
It was confirmed that I was a bad listener when I read the courses’ list entitled, “Good Listeners Do This.” I do not do half of the things on this list. These are definitely things that I would like to work on more not only for professional reasons, but in my personal relationships as well.
The list includes:
- probe for clarification
- listen for the story
- summarize well
- spot hidden assumptions
- keep the other person talking
- get rid of distractions while listening
- look at the person as he or she speaks
- look for “congruency” between what the person says and how he or she gestures and postures
- encourage by nodding head or giving a slight smile
- show awareness and control of body movements (no moving around, shaking legs, etc.)
This course was a great reminder of the things I need to personally work on when I am a listener in a room.