Listening is one of the most important parts of interpersonal communication. The definition of listening according to our text book author Kory Floyd is "The active process of making meaning out of another person's spoken message." (Floyd 259) Many people overlook the importance of being a good listener and how it can improve interpersonal communications. Listening is not just about hearing or receiving input, but also understanding the meaning of the message. It is also important to understand that listening is an active process, it is not automatic.

 

The HURIER model is acronym for listening skills, it stands for Hearing, Understanding, Remembering, Interpreting, Evaluating   and Responding. All of these stages of the listening process are what it takes to competent listener and communicator. According to professor and HURIER model creator Judi Brownell the six stages of the HURIER model stand for-

Hearing- Physically perceiving sound

Understanding- Comprehending the words that we have heard

Remembering- Storing ideas in memory

Interpreting- Assigning meaning to what we have heard

Evaluating- Judging the speakers credibility and intention

Responding- Indicating that we are listening

 

Before I started this course I would have said that I was a good listener. After taking this course and studying effective listening skills, I have to admit that I have several flaws when it comes to listening. As an example, a simple situation where I struggle with my listening skills is when my girlfriend comes home from work and we have the usual how was your day conversation. Sometimes I am so exhausted from my own day that I let that get the better of me and I let most of the conversation "go in one ear and out the other". Its not like I am not listening or interested in her day, but after a long day being a good listener can be a struggle. This is called glazing over or daydreaming during the conversation. I realized that I needed to work on improving my focus when I feel my mind starting to wander. Once you identify these flaws you can work on improving listening skills with a bit of determination, which can affect your life positively and improve relationships.

 

Glazing over is daydreaming while we are listening. When you glaze over you are actually listening to what the person is saying, but you allow your mind to wander. This can lead to missing important details, listening less critically than you normally would and it can make it seem as though you are not listening when you actually are. To be an effective listener it is important to avoid daydreaming and focus on the topic of discussion.