Needs Assessment: Listening Actively

Equally as important as asking the right question is having the right listen­ing mind-set—to being fully attentive to the answers. Everyone hears, but do we listen? Listening has many problematic variants, such as listening superficially, intermittently, and judgmentally. People tend to either listen with “filtered” ears—filtering what they hear through their own biases—or be distracted by something happening in the environment. Generally, men seem to have a more difficult time with this than women, as women tend to be more relationship-oriented and more interested in people; men tend to be more interested in “things” or objects (Gilligan, 1993; Gray, 1993; Tannen, 1996). Luckily, listening is a skill that ...

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