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Listening and Interviewing

In this lecture we will learn to:

•Apply the communication process to oral communication

•Summarize the skills involved in being an effective listener

•Identify nine common types of business interviews

Facing a communication dilemma at Rockport:

•Calling a meeting isn’t unusual; executives do it every day.

•Even so, few executives shut down an entire company to bring everyone to a meeting, but

that’s exactly what Rockport president John Thorbeck decided to do.

•Rockport is a footwear subsidiary of Reebok, and except for the handful of people left

behind to answer telephones in the company’s headquarters, all 350 managers and

employees were asked to gather in a huge room for a two-day meeting.

Communicating Orally:

•Rockport’s John Thorbeck knows that speaking and listening are the communication skills

we use the most.

•Given a choice, people would rather talk to each other than write to each other.

•Talking takes less time and needs no composing, typing, rewriting, retyping, duplicating, or


•By communicating with facial expressions, eye contact, tone of voice, gestures and

posture, people can send subtle messages that add another dimension to the spoken


•Oral communication satisfies people’s need to be part of the human community and makes

them feel good.

•Talking things over helps people in organizations build morale and establish a group


•When communicating orally, try to take advantage of the positive characteristics while

minimizing the dangers.•To achieve that goal, work on improving two key skills:




•Organize your thoughts in a logical way, decide on a style that suits the occasion, and edit

your remarks mentally.

•As you speak, watch the other person, judging from verbal and nonverbal feedback

whether your message is making the desired impression.

•If not, revise and try again.

•Just as various writing assignments call for different writing styles, various situations call for

different speaking styles.

•Your speaking style depends on the level of intimacy between you and the other person

and on the nature of your conversation.

•When you’re talking with a friend, you naturally speak more frankly than when you’re talking

to your boss or a stranger.

•An important tool of oral communication, the telephone, can extend your reach across town

and around the world.

•However if your telephone skills are lacking, you may waste valuable time and appear rude.

•You can minimize your time on the telephone while raising your phone productivity by

delivering one-way information by fax.

•Other ways of increasing your phone productivity by

–jotting down an agenda before making a call

–saving social chitchat for the end of a call

–saving up all the short calls you need to make to one person during a given day and simply

making one longer call

–sending your message by fax, if you cant reach someone by the phone

–making sure you’re your assistant has a list of people whose calls you’ll accept even if

you’re in a meeting.


•If you’re typical, you spend over half your communication time listening.

•Listening supports effective relationships within the organization, enhances the

organization’s delivery of products, alerts the organization to the innovations growing from

both internal and external forces, and allows the organization to manage the growing

diversity both in the workface and in the customers it serves.

What happens when you listen:






The three types of listening:

•Various situations call for different listening skills.

•The three types of listening differ not only in purpose but also in the amount of feedback or

interaction that occurs.

•The goal of content listening is to understand and retain information imparted by a


•You may ask questions, but basically information flows form the speaker to you.

•Your job is to identify the key points for the message, so be sure to listen for clues to its





–Enumerated points

How to be a better listener:

•Regardless of whether the situation calls for content, critical, or active listening, you can

improve your listening ability by becoming more aware of the habits that distinguish good

listeners from bad.

•In addition, put nonverbal skills to work as you listen:

–Maintain eye contact

–React responsively with head nods or spoken signals

–Pay attention to the speaker’s body language

•You might even test yourself from time to time: when someone is talking, ask yourself

whether you’re actually listening to the speaker or mentally rehearsing how you’ll respond.

•Above all, try to be open to the information that will lead to higher-quality decisions, and try

to accept the feeling that will build understanding and mutual respect.

•If you do, you’ll be well on the way to becoming a good listener – an important quality when

conducting business interviews.

Good and bad listening:

Conducting interviews on the job:

•The conversation bounces back and forth from interviewer to interviewee.

•Although the interviewer guides the conversation, the interviewee may also seek to

accomplish a purpose, perhaps to :

–obtain or provide information,

–solve a problem

Takes fewer notes; uses four to

five different systems,

depending on the speaker.

Takes extensive notes using

only one system

5. Be flexible

Listens 4. Listen for ideas Listens for facts for central themes

Doesn’t judge until

comprehension is complete;

interrupts only to clarify

3. Hold your fire Tends to enter into argument

Judges content; skips over

delivery error

2. Judge content, not Tunes out if delivery is poor


Opportunizes; ask “What’s in

it for me”

1. Find areas of interest Tunes out dry subjects

To listen effectively The Bad Listener The Good Listener

Challenges, anticipates,

mentally summarizes

Tends to daydream with slow


10. Capitalize on the fact that

thought is faster than speech

Interprets emotional words;

does not get hung up on


9. Keep your mind open Reacts to emotional words

Uses heavier material as

exercise for the mind

Resists difficult expository

material; seeks light,

recreational material

8. Exercise your mind

Fights or avoids distractions;

tolerates bad habits; knows

how to concentrate

7. Resist distractions Is distracted easily

Works hard; exhibits active

body state

Shows no energy output;

fakes attention

6. Work at listening

To listen effectively The Bad Listener The Good Listener

–to create goodwill

–persuade the other person to take action.

Categorizing interviews:

•Job interviews

•Information interviews

•Persuasive interviews

•Exit interview

•Evaluation interview

•Counseling interviews

•Conflict-resolution interviews

•Disciplinary interviews

•Termination interviews

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