Listening Skills : "What Great Listeners Actually Do"
Submitted by David J. Rosen on November 17, 2018 - 5:58pm
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Are you a good listener? A great listener? Do you know what it means to be very successful in "listening" to students? Do you teach your students how to be better listeners? Do you practice great listening skills? Do they? Do you self-assess your own listening skills? Do you assess your students' listening skills? Do you ask them to assess yours?
Because listening and speaking (except in English language classes for immigrants) are not tested in a field driven by standardized tests, where program funding very often depends on students' performance on those written tests, one of the most important skills according to recent assessments by employers -- listening -- is usually not taught.; when it is taught, students are often not taught to be great listeners.Teachers who are interested in their students' success on the job and in career pathways may want to teach good or great listening skills directly -- and indirectly through demonstrating good or great listening themselves, Here's a link to a recent Harvard Business Review article about a study of listening skills. Before you read it, write down what you think are the top few listening skills. Don't read further. Just write down what you think. Then continue reading this post, and then the article.
Did you write:
- Not talking when others are speaking,
- Letting others know you’re listening through facial expressions and verbal sounds (“Mmm-hmm”), and
- Being able to repeat what others have said, practically word-for-word ?
If so, you may be surprised to learn that these are not the skills of GREAT listeners, only of average listeners.
Here's the link to to the "What Great Listeners Actually Do" article in the Harvard Business Review.
After you read the article, please reply here to let us know what you thought were the top few listening skills, and also what your takeaways are from reading this article. Do you agree with the study findings? Do you employ some or all of these skills yourself when you teach? In other parts of your life? Do you teach these skills? If not, will you now? If so, what approach will you use? Would you share this article with your students?
David J. Rosen