Communication - Theory
• Communication – between speaker and
• Speaker communicates thoughts, feelings,
opinions to listener – using various media –
can be verbal or non verbal messages.
• Effective communication – receiver interprets
and understands sender’s message as
intended by the sender.
Sources of difficulty by Speaker.
• Voice volume too low
• Message complex – too
• Forgetting point/
purpose of interaction.
• Non verbal elements
• Paying too much
attention to how the
person might react .
• Using unique code or
Sources of difficulty by Listener
• Being preoccupied and
• So interested in what
you have to say – listen
to find opening to get
• Formulating and
listening to your own
rebuttal to what the
speaker is saying.
• Listening to your own
personal beliefs about
what is being said.
• Evaluating and making
judgements about the
speaker or the message.
• Not asking for
clarification when do
Basic Listening Modes
a) Competitive or Combative listening.
More interested in promoting our own point
Listen for openings to take floor, for flaws to
Pretend to pay attention – waiting for
opening or internally formulating rebuttal.
b) Passive or attentive listening.
Genuinely interested in hearing and
understanding the other’s point of view.
We are attentive and passively listen.
We assume that we heard and understand
correctly but stay passive and do not verify.
c) Active or Reflective Listening.
Most useful and important listening skill.
Genuinely interested in understanding what the
other person is thinking and also active in
checking our understanding
Restate or rephrase understanding of their
message and reflect it back to sender for
Verification process – distinguishes active
Benefits of Active Listening
1.Forces people to
attentively listen to
2. It avoids
people have to confirm
that they do really
another person has
3. It tends to open people
up, to get them to say
more. Once they feel
like someone is really
listening to them, they
are more willing to
share their true
4. When you listen
actively, you are
honoring the other
person. This builds trust
5. We can fully
understand the other
person's point of view.
Just knowing what a
person is really thinking
and where the ideas are
coming from helps to
1. Usually it is important to paraphrase and use
your own words in verbalizing your
understanding of the message
2. Depending on the purpose of the interaction
and your understanding of what is relevant,
you could reflect back the other persons:
• Account of the facts.
• Thoughts and beliefs.
• Feelings and emotions.
• Wants, needs or motivation.
• Hopes and expectations.
3. Don’t respond to just the meaning of the
words, look for the feelings or intent beyond
4. Inhibit your impulse to immediately answer
questions. The code may be in the form of a
question. Sometimes people ask questions
when they really want to express themselves
and are not open to hearing an answer.
5. Know when to quit using active listening.
Once you accurately understand the sender’s
message, it may be appropriate to respond
with your own message. Don’t use active
listening to hide and avoid revealing your own
6. If you are confused and know you do not
understand, either tell the person you don’t
understand and ask him/her to say it another
way, or use your best guess.
7. Active listening is a very effective first
response when the other person is angry, hurt
or expressing difficult feelings toward you,
especially in relationships that are important
8. Use eye contact and listening body language.
Avoid looking at your watch or at other
people or activities around the room. Face
and lean toward the speaker and nod your
head, as it is appropriate. Be careful about
crossing your arms and appearing closed or
9. Be empathic and nonjudgmental. You can be
accepting and respectful of the person and
their feelings and beliefs without invalidating
or giving up your own position, or without
agreeing with the accuracy and validity of
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