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The Listening Process

SIX STAGES OF LISTENING PROCESS: hearing, attending, understanding, remembering, evaluating, and responding.  these stages occur in sequence, but they generally performed with little awareness an often rapid succession .

    1. HEARING - it refers to the response caused by sound waves stimulating the sensory receptors of the ear; it is physical response; hearing is perception of sound waves; you must hear to listen, but you need not listen to hear (perception necessary for listening depends on attention.
    2. ATTENTION- brain screens stimuli and permits only a select few to come into focus- these selective perception is known as attention, an important requirement for effective listening;strong stimuli like bright lights, sudden noise…are attention getters; attention to more commonplace or less striking stimuli requires special effort; postural adjustments are aided by physical changes in sensory receptor organs; receptor adjustments might include tensing of the ear´s tympanic muscle for better response to weak sounds.

    3. UNDERSTANDING- to understand symbols we have seen and heard, we must analyze the meaning of the stimuli we have perceived; symbolic stimuli are not only words but also sounds like applause… and sights like blue uniform…that have symbolic meanings as well; the meanings attached to these symbols are a function of our past associations and of the context in which the symbols occur; for successful interpersonal communication, the listener  must understand the intended meaning and the context assumed by the sender
    4. REMEMBERING- it is important listening process because it means that an individual has not only received and interpreted a message but has also added it to the mind”s storage bank; but just as our attention is selective, so too is our memory- what is remembered may be quite different from what was originally seen or heard.
    5. EVALUATING- it is a stage in which active listeners participate; it is at these point that the active listener weighs evidence, sorts fact from opinion, and determines the presence or absence of bias or prejudice in a message; the effective listener makes sure that he or she doesn’t begin this activity too soon ; beginning this stage of the process before a message is completed requires that we no longer hear and  attend to the incoming message-as a result, the listening process ceases.
    6. RESPONDING- this stage requires that the receiver complete the process through verbal and/or nonverbal feedback; because the speaker has no other way to determine if a message has been receivedScience Articles, this stage becomes the only overt means by which the sender may determine the degree of success in transmitting the message.

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