Hearing and listening are 2 different things. Hearing is when the words and sounds of someone who is talking enter your ears and you “hear” them; listening is hearing with attention and intention to understand. Think about times your mom has said, “Clean up your room,” or your teacher says, “Read pages 4 through 14,” or your friend says, “Let’s ride bikes,” and you “hear” them, but maybe were not really “listening” because your mind was somewhere else. If your attention is on something else, your mind is wandering and you are not really listening to what is being said. You may hear the person talking but you are “zoned out” to what they are saying instead of “tuned in” to their words. We all do this sometimes, and some of us have short attention spans, so when you want to “actively listen” and “tune in” to someone remember to Look, Listen, Feel and “be a parrot!”
Look at the person who is talking. Use eye contact to show you are listening and keep your arms open.
Listen actively by showing appropriate body language. Lean toward the person who is speaking; nod occasionally to let them know you are “paying attention”. Avoid interrupting or trying to think of what you will say before the person is finished speaking.
Feel with your “heart” by showing you care about what the person is saying. How? Be a parrot! When the person is finished speaking, say, in your own words, what he or she just said to you. For example: “So, our assignment is to read pages 4 through 14, right?” Then write it down to remember. Or, “Do you mean make my bed and pick up my toys?” This parroting works really well if you are on the phone, texting, or on the computer talking to someone, because you cannot see their body language, you can only see or hear their words.
So, next time someone talks to you‐‐Look, Listen (actively), Feel and be a parrot!
Now what did I just say? 🙂
(Parents and Teachers are ofthe web)
Most people listen passively‐‐the sounds enter their ears but they don’t actively participate in the process of listening; they don’t use the effort necessary to listen and attend to what they are hearing. Active listening demands that we Look, Listen (actively), Feel, and be a parrot!
With so many distractions today it is easy to see why this can be difficult.
Some ways to practice at home:
*Model active listening for your child. “Parrot”, (paraphrase), back to your child what you heard him or her say.
*Ask your child to show you what active listening looks like.
*While watching TV., ask your children to point out when they see people using or not using active listening.
*Ask your child to retell something they watched on T.V. For older children, try a news segment.
Some ways to practice at school:
*Before giving directions remind students to use their active listening skills. Have one or two students repeat the directions back or have each person turn to a partner and take turns retelling the directions.
*Dramatize several different audience behaviors. Ask students to decide which show active listening and which do not.
*Choose stories such as Listen Buddy and The Cat Who Wore a Pot on Her Head and discuss the problems that occurred because the main character was not listening well.