Listen up! – Part 2

Four tips to help youth and adults become better listeners.

Studies on the methods of instruction and the ability to recall are thought-provoking.

Method of Instruction

Recall three hours later

Recall three days later

Telling (alone)

 70 percent

 10 percent

Showing (alone)

 72 percent

 20 percent

Telling and showing

 85 percent

 65 percent

Michigan State University Extension says that when young people are actively involved in saying and doing, they are more likely to retain the knowledge presented.

Listening tips

These four practical tips may help youth and adults listen effectively:

Be receptive

  • Be willing to accept something new.
  • Recognize that you must be open to change.
  • Put your personal ideas and feelings aside and get involved in those of the speaker.
  • Hold your physical, intellectual and emotional position easily and confidently.

Focus on the speaker

  • Pay attention comfortably.
  • Look at the speaker.
  • Be where you are now mentally as well as physically.
  • Put the speaker at ease by being relaxed and showing interest.
  • Focus on ideas and feelings the speaker is transmitting.
  • Open your powers of observation to non-verbal signals.

Duplicate the message

  • Make a mental copy of what’s being transmitted.
  • Put yourself in the speaker’s shoes.
  • Watch for the key-point of the message and stay on track.
  • Consider the message in the context of recent knowledge and relate it to what you already know about the topic.
  • Ask for more information to fill any missing data.

Acknowledge receipt of the message

  • Tell the speaker when you’ve heard and understood.
  • Separate your personal feedback from the speaker’s message.
  • Give acknowledgements like a nod or smile to tell the speaker you are following and to encourage them.
  • Wait for judgments on the speaker’s points.

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