Listening at the Understanding Stage


After receiving the message, you process it; you extract the meaning from the message. You can improve your listening understanding in a variety of ways.

  1. Avoid assuming you understand what the speaker is going to say before he or she actually says it. If you do make assumptions, these will likely prevent you from accurately listening to what the speaker wants to say.


  1. See the speaker‘s messages from the speaker‘s point of view. Avoid judging the message until you fully understand it as the speaker intended it.


  1. Ask questions for clarification, if necessary; ask for additional details or examples if they‘re needed. This shows not only that you‘re listening—which the speaker will appreciate—but also that you want to learn more. Material that is not clearly understood is likely to be easily forgotten.


  1. Rephrase (paraphrase) the speaker‘s ideas into your own words. This can be done silently or aloud. If done silently, it will help you rehearse and learn the material; if done aloud, it also helps you confirm your understanding of what the speaker is saying and gives the speaker an opportunity to clarify any misunderstandings

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