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Listening - Essay Example

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Active Listening at a PTA Meeting For this particular class assignment, I found myself attending a Parent-Teacher Association meeting on behalf of my cousin whose job as a flight attendant prevented her from attending her son's PTA conference scheduled over the past Friday night…
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Listening

Download file to see previous pages... For this particular meeting, the teacher's table was set off to a side of the room to hold the laptop and projector that would be used for the power point presentation later on. Anticipation built up as to who would be the speaker for the night as the parents and teachers began to trickle into the classroom. There were rumors that the school Principal, Ms. Berry would be addressing the parents directly due to the need for financial pledges in the improvement of the private school facilities. I noticed that most of the parents seemed to have been coming in directly from work, some still dressed in their office uniforms or looking haggard as they ran from an office meeting to the PTA conference. I chose to attend this particular event because I knew that the people who would be in attendance would already be distracted by either their exhaustion from a busy day at the office, or their desire to get home as soon as possible in order to attend to their household and parental duties. From what I observed of the attitude of the people gathered in that classroom that evening, they wanted to be anywhere but at the school at that very moment. It seemed obvious to anyone observing the group such as myself, that this was one group that was not in the mood to listen to anything the speaker of the night had to say. Once the school principal arrived, it became fairly obvious that the rumors were true and she would be taking to the stand in order to address the parents. Knowing very well that I would have to report about the meeting to my cousin upon her arrival, I began preparing myself to become an effective listener based upon the principles outlined in our book. DeVito clearly outlined the principles of listening within the pages of our textbook. So I made sure to follow the principles he indicated that include (DeVito 90): Avoid interrupting the speaker Give supportive listening cues Show empathy with the speaker Maintain eye contact Give positive feedback Avoid distractions I knew that I had to actively listen to the speaker in order to ask the proper questions during the question and answer period. Active listening is of the utmost importance when listening to a speaker because the response of an active listener will include a “process of sending back to the speaker what you as a listener think the speaker meant - both in content and feelings”. As DeVito so clearly explained it (91): “Active listening then, is not merely repeating the speaker's exact words, but rather putting together into some meaningful whole your understanding of the speaker's total message.” In other words, by totally dedicating myself to listening to the speaker, I will be able to gain an uncanny insight into what the true meaning of his words are and in exchange, be able to relate it to the big picture as I see or understand him as he describes it. It is easy to understand the importance of active listening in terms of asking probing or clarification questions of the speaker when the opportunity comes up. If one us unable to actively listen to a speaker, then he or she will have failed at the most important aspect of listening, that of learning what is being spoken about and showing a form in interest in the discussion as the speaker conveys his points. Inactive listening as this type of listening has become known as (Devito 91) shows a grave disrespect for the sentiments and thoughts of the speaker. It trivializes the points that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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