Applying Our Understanding of Effective Listening Skills
Background: Please begin this exercise by reading the following information carefully.
Research on adults’ listening styles by Sargent and Weaver (2003) and others suggests that women use their listening skills to learn about people and to make connections with others, while men listen more for information and to solve intellectual challenges. The findings do not mean women do not engage in content-oriented listening and that men do not engage in people-oriented listening. Both sexes clearly engage in both types of listening. However, Sargent and Weaver and other researchers say findings like these indicate that women and men generally do, indeed, have different approaches to listening.
How might you apply this information about sex differences in listening styles to your communication in the workplace*?
(*Remember, if you are not employed or cannot discuss your workplace, you may draw upon your experiences in another organizational setting in which you are involved, such as a school, church, or community group.)