Communication is never easy. Taking a thought from your mind, translating it into words, and then having those words heard, and properly interpreted into meaning by another person is going to be difficult under the best of circumstances. One way to make the process easier, though, is for the listener to be active. Active listening is about more than hearing the words someone is speaking; it’s about being really and truly involved in the conversation.
The HEAR strategy consists of these four steps:
- Halt: Stop whatever else you are doing, end your internal dialogue on other thoughts, and free your mind to pay attention to the person speaking.
- Engage: Focus on the speaker. We suggest a physical component, such as turning your head slightly so that your right ear is toward the speaker as a reminder to be engaged solely in listening.
- Anticipate: By looking forward to what the speaker has to say, you are acknowledging that you will likely learn something new and interesting, which will enhance your attention.
- Replay: Think about what the speaker is saying. Analyze and paraphrase it in your mind or in discussion with the speaker and other classmates. Replaying the information will aid in understanding and remembering what you have learned.
Which of the above images, in your opinion, suggests active listening? Incorporate this image into a brief paragraph on the importance of listening.