Gathering information, evaluating it and taking a position can improve your problem solving and decision making abilities. After watching this video you'll have the tools to expertly ascertain the quality and validity of content you come across.
- Some of the listening we do on a daily basis is evaluative listening. This type of listening comes into play when we have to form an opinion after gathering information, or decide between two positions on what we have to assess strengths and weaknesses of a proposal. This type of listening happens often in the workplace. For Brenda and I, sometimes happens when we sit through student case competitions, and we have to decide who has the most credible, persuasive, and well researched idea. In the business world this type of critical listening is essential in the viability of the organization and sustainability for future growth. If audiences don't listen critically and weigh the information they have in front of them, decisions they make can be flawed. I remember being in a presentation where two different consulting firms were presenting company executives with two different directions for their international growth. Both were very well prepared, but one of the two firms had answers to all of the questions. They had anticipated what the listeners would want to know they offered additional pieces of evidence for their argument and they ended up presenting a lot more content for the executives. This additional quality gave this consulting firm a content advantage, which resulted in them winning the project. When you listen to evaluate content put yourself in top listening mode. If you're a visual learner feel free to sketch down, take notes. Force yourself to listen to the information presented and play devils advocate. No matter your listening style, ask yourself these questions. Is the speaker making a viable argument? Is the evidence she's presenting recent, credible, and relevant to the topic? Are both the pros and cons presented? Is any of the information misleading? What we call fallacies in the argumentation. If this was a product would I buy it? One big caution for critical or evaluative listening, is not to get distracted by the delivery of the speaker or any other external factors. A great evaluative listening training ground is news or sports commentaries. In both cases newscasters present the facts and then in the commentary section they present their analysis of the situation. Listen to each of the arguments, claims, evidence, and reasoning presented. At the end of the news show, decide if the opinion presented is also your opinion or if you would present any counterarguments or viewpoints that were not present. Listening to evaluate content takes discipline and focus on content only. Allow yourself time to compare, contrast, and decide on the quality of what's presented to you.
- Define attentive listening.
- Explore what happened when you are distracted by delivery.
- Recall what a mental filter is and how it can affect assumptions.
- Explore methods for choosing the best paraphrasing response in the situation.
- List the five listening intentions.