2Overview of Presentation What is active listening?Why do we practice it?How do we practice it?Quickly review the presentation by reading the 3 bulletsAsk participants to remember a time when they realized that the person they were talking with wasn’t really listening to them. How did that make them feel?Ask participants to remember a time when they really weren’t listening to the person talking to them. What happened? Did they get the message right?
3What is active listening? Active listening involves:communicating verbally and nonverballypracticing “uninterrupted” listeningrestating the messageobserving the sender’s nonverbal signalsActive listening involves a few, simple skills that really go a long way to communicate to the sender of the message that we really are listening.When we communicate we do so verbally and nonverbally. It is very important to be aware of the nonverbal gestures and expressions we use because as they say, actions speak louder than words. (Instructor may wish to demonstrate common nonverbal cues, e.g. crossed arms = closed to ideas, eyes looking away from person = boredom, etc.It is important not to interrupt the sender when he or she is talking because this indicates that you are not that interested in what is being communicated.Rephrase the sender’s message so that you send a clear message that you heard him or her, and you want to make sure you heard correctly . This gives the sender a chance to restate something he may have mis-spoke.Pay close attention to the nonverbal signals the sender is giving! These will tell you important clues about how he/she feels about the conversation. (Instructor may again want to demonstrate a few nonverbal cues that sender’s may typically give, e.g. eyes looking at ground may reflect that sender is unsure of what he is saying, or embarrassed.
4Why practice active listening? Helps us understand others betterShow others we respect themAllows us to receive accurate messagesEnables us to respond appropriatelyRemind participantss of how they felt when the person they were talking to wasn’t really listening. Remind them how it made them feel. How it made them react. Did they trust the person? Did they want to tell the person anything that could be truly personal?To be effective leaders, we have to be effective communicators.By practicing active listening, we are able to understand a sender’s message more clearly.AL show others we respect them because we are giving them our full attention and we care about what they are saying.As mentioned earlier, AL allows us to receive a more accurate message because we are not interrupting the sender’s message and by restating what she said, we can clarify what was stated.This allows us to respond to the root of the problem (heart of the issue) rather than just addressing the symptom.
5How to practice active listening Physical environmentAttending posture: SOLERListening skillsQuestioning skillsReview ALL techniques on this slide before getting into the details found on subsequent slides
6Physical environment Ensure privacy Minimize interruptions Eliminate barriersIt is imperative that you seek a private place to talk. Remind participants of a time when they were telling someone something personal and how imperative it was that they s/he felt comfortable in his environment.You should also minimize interruptions such as answering the phone.Make sure that there are no barriers, or obstacles that may inhibit the conversation. This is a good time to check to make sure you are practicing good nonverbal cues – don’t cross your arms or look away from the sender, otherwise you may threaten his willingness to speak openly and honestly.Practicing these steps tell the sender that what they have to say, you consider important.
7Attending posture Nonverbal skill = SOLER S= squarely face person O= use open postureL= lean toward the personE= use eye contactR= relax, keep it naturalAccording to Gerald Egan, author of the supplement you read from the “Skilled Helper: A Problem-Management Approach to HelpingThink about how you communicate with others and how they communicate with you. Imagine speaking with someone you are close with and how different your posture is than with someone you hardly know. Now, imagine speaking with a superior officer or a boss, and think about how you feel when talking to them. What makes you uncomfortable? Comfortable?According to Gerald Egan, author of the supplement you read from the “Skilled Helper: A Problem-Management Approach to Helping there are a number of nonverbal gestures and practices we can do to let the message sender know that we are really listening and that we really do care. Consider Egan’s SOLER model:S – stand or sit so that you face the person straight on (instructor may wish to demonstrate this)O – make sure you keep your arms and legs uncrossed to reflect openessL – leaning towards the person indicates that you are interested in what they have to say.E – using eye contact means that you are listening.R – make sure you act naturally. If you try to practice these gestures without sincerity, you will come across as having no interest in the sender or any messages he is trying to give you.Of course, many of these practices are based on our cultural practices. As we will discuss in later lessons, it is important that you acknowledge the cultural background of the sender and practice gestures that are appropriate.Note: The instructor may want to demonstrate some of these postures.
8Listening skills Reflective statements get at the real meaning Nonverbal and verbal cues often conflict!Recognize nonverbal posture: It’s the real thing!A reflective statement is one in which the listener rephrases what the sender has said…however this must be done without restating exactly what was said. The listener should rephrase the sentence in her own words to show that she understood the communicated message, or to say that she needs clarification.Think of how many times you have talked with someone and even though they were saying one thing, the way the were standing or the way they were avoiding eye contact with you gave you a completely different impression.This is why it is important to observe the sender while he is talking. You will be able to pick up on how he is feeling just by the way he may be standing. (The instructor may wish to demonstrate crossing his arms and then addressing one of the cadets, who is sitting close by, with a message about how he feels. For example, while crossing arms, say “I am really in agreement with you.”)The instructor may wish to point out the photos at the bottom of the screen and talk about each one briefly.boredoverwhelmedclosed
9Questions skills Ask questions…not too many Avoid “why” questions Ask open-end questionsQuestions are good to ask, but too many can tell the sender that you don’t trust what he is saying, or that you are not paying attention.Asking “why” questions, like “why did you choose that?” or “why did you did it that way?” indicates that you are judging the sender.The best form of questioning is open-ended. This type of question can not be answered by a simple yes or no, but must be accompanied by an explanation or additional details. For example, “Sam, tell me more about the day you left home,” rather than, “Sam, were you sad when you left home?”Practicing this technique on a child is a good way to challenge your skills of asking open-ended questions.
10Summary of Presentation What is active listening?Why do we practice it?How do we practice it?Review the important elements of the presentation.Ask cadets if they have any questions.