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Geosciences LibreTexts Active Listening Activity

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    Please take a few minutes to watch the two humorous videos below, then write a short two minute essay.

    Bad Listeners (2:52)

    Everybody Loves Raymond Uses Active Listening - from Parent Effectiveness Training (2:58)

    Check Your Understanding: Two Minute Essay

    Take a few minutes to reflect on each of the videos above. Consider why each video was either a good example or a bad example of active listening and explain why. Keep in mind the three techniques and the guidelines presented on previous pages in this lesson.

    Click for Answer


    Video #1:

    In your response you should have noted that Sheldon

    • Was not focused on Leonard, the speaker
      • Nonverbal cues we're only about himself, i.e., no eye contact
      • Dismissed Leonard's attempt to talk because it didn't affect him personally
      • Initially did not acknowledge that Leonard was even speaking and continued to sound frustrated that Leonard wanted to talk at all
    • Interrupted Leonard repeatedly
      • Kept taking back control of the time clock not giving Leonard time to speak
      • Talked over Leonard
    • Conveyed no interest in what Leonard was saying
      • Did not restate Leonard's basic concerns or paraphrase Leonard's words; instead stated "beats me" or "I hear you brother" or "it sucks to be you"
      • Did not reflect back Leonard's basic feeling to indicate understanding
      • No attempt to validate the worthiness of Leonard's problems
      • Did not use voice intonations or questions such as "can you tell me more?" to provide encouragement for Leonard to keep talking
    • Judgment: made assumption that Leonard's problem was simple, i.e., "blonde women"

    Note that Leonard:

    • States, "Is it possible we're having two different conversations?"
    • Through the use of a chess time clock attempted to provide avenue for each to listen to the other
    • Made a sincere effort to listen and reflect back to Sheldon
    • In total frustration, gives up trying to have a conversation

    Video #2

    • Raymond walks into a situation where his wife is interrogating their daughter and getting nowhere and encourages her to use active listening skills
    • Although she attempts, Raymond interrupts and points out that she should reflect back and not be judgmental—two important active listening skills, paraphrasing and non-judgmental
    • Raymond then takes over and does the following:
      • Gets down on his daughter’s level and makes direct eye contact—this demonstrates interest and full attention on her
      • Demonstrates empathy by recognizing and stating to his daughter the reasons behind her feeling of anger
      • Reflects that the giraffe was still special to his daughter even though she wasn’t playing with it
      • Takes ownership that mommy and daddy made a mistake by not asking their daughter before giving the giraffe to Michael
    • Outcome:
      • The daughter wants to fix the giraffe and give it to Michael
    • Following:
      • Raymond:
        • Acts pompous—he's the fixer
        • Is not empathetic to his wife—"Don't worry, you'll get it."
        • Then uses empathy stating his wife feels inadequate
        • She rejects the "active listening crap"

    Example of effective active listening:

    Leadership Training - Active Listening (2:21)


    This page titled Active Listening Activity is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Marcellus Matters (John A. Dutton: e-Education Institute) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.