Good listening is much more than being silent while the other person talks. To the contrary, people perceive the best listeners to be those who periodically ask questions that promote discovery and insight. These questions gently challenge old assumptions, but do so in a constructive way. Sitting there silently nodding does not provide sure evidence that a person is listening, but asking a good question tells the speaker the listening was consistently seen as a two-way dialogue, rather than a one-way “speaker versus hearer” interaction. The best conversations were active.
Good listening included interactions that build a person’s self-esteem. The best listeners made the conversation a positive experience for the other party, which doesn’t happen when the listener is passive (or, for that matter, critical!). Good listeners made the other person feel supported and conveyed confidence in them. Good listening was characterized by the creation of a safe environment in which issues and differences could be discussed openly.
Good listening was seen as a cooperative conversation. In these interactions, feedback flowed smoothly in both directions with neither party becoming defensive about comments the other made. By contrast, poor listeners were seen as competitive --- as listening only to identify errors in reasoning or logic, using their silence as a chance to prepare their next response. That might make you an excellent debater, but it does not make you a good listener. Good listeners may challenge assumptions and disagree, but the person being listened to feels the listener is trying to help, not wanting to win an argument.
1. When a listener asks constructive questions, it means ______.
A. he is listening carefully
B. he is getting bored of nodding
C. he wants to make the dialogue stop
D. he wants to challenge the speaker
2. According to the author, which of the following statements is true?
A. Good listener should agree with the speaker.
B. If you give creative opinions, the speaker will be less confident.
C. If the speaker creates a comfortable environment, listeners will become confident.
D. Those who periodically ask questions want to take charge of the conversation.
3. According to the passage, a good listener would NOT ______.
B. disagree with the speaker
C. be silent
D. use logic
4. The main purpose of the passage is to ______.
A. explain what would happen if speakers are boring
B. analyze the behavior of good listeners
C. encourage listeners to help the other person to see the conversation in a new light
D. tell readers to be good listeners
5. Which could be the title of this passage?
A. What Makes Listening Attractive?
B. How to Train Your Audience?
C. What Do Good Listeners Do?
D. How to Become a Good Collaborator?