"The Art of Listening: A Simple Way to Save Your Business" (post), though not a strictly academic article, offers "five tips for becoming a better listener" -- a skill useful in instructing, guiding, communicating, building community, and advancing your career.
- These tips are useful for in-class discussion/instruction as well as office hours, other meetings with students or colleagues, etc.
- They are also useful for teaching students about effective listening through both direct instruction and by modeling positive, productive social/academic behaviour.
A. Key Context Points
- "Listening is no longer a soft skill."
- "[P]eople are more distracted than ever and ... our attention spans are only shrinking."
- "[O]ur brains produce 12,000 to 50,000 thoughts a day."
- "[T]here are simple ways that we cut through the noise."
B. "Five Tips for Becoming a Better Listener"
1. "[T]urn the phone off."
- "Check texts and messages as soon as you leave the [class, appointment, etc.] and ... it will be okay."
- "Stop phubbing ... snubbing someone in a social setting by looking at your phone instead of paying attention."
2. "Turn off all devices in a meeting and take notes the old-fashioned way."
- "It forces you to focus on what you are hearing and writing makes it easier for you to remember."
3. "Ask questions and repeat information back that you are hearing."
- Don’t be afraid to clarify facts and figures and anything else you are fuzzy about."
4. "Make eye contact."
- "If the meeting is in person or even if it is being done through a video chat, ... make this simplest of human connections."
5. "Stop multi-tasking during a meeting when working from home or in your office."
- "Close the door [and] then block out people, other sounds, and any other potential distraction."
- "Put a sign on your door so everyone knows you are tied up."