ESL Video Quiz: Listening Positions

Quiz by: ChezTeresaESL
Quiz #: 25907
(ESL Category: listening) How to be a better listener

The next exercise is listening positions:
have you ever thought of the idea that you
could take up certain positions to listen from?
This can change everything. I'm going to give
you 6 and I'm positioning them as ends of the
spectrum -- This is arbitrary, there are lots
of listening positions,and I do urge you to
explore your own -- So here are the 6 I'm gonna
give you,

The first is active listening. This is used in
the caring professions a great deal of the
time. What I hear you say is -- What you said
is -- So I hear you say this.This allows the
person talking to feel heard. And it's used in
education, therapy,counseling and so forth.
Very powerful in parenting.

Second: passive listening. The other end of
that scale, this would be the zen master
sitting by the bank of a brook just listening
to the water. No interpretation, no mental
activity at all, just receiving.

Two more for you.

Critical listening. This is what you and I do
most of the time. Is that right or wrong? Do I
agree or do I disagree? You’re probably doing
it now. It's a very interpretive form of
listening and it's powerful in most of our
modern situations,in business particularly,
it's a very important form of listening. Best
done consciously, though.

On the other end of that scale,we have
empathetic listening: this is being with a
person, going on to their island, understanding
their point of view,and not just letting them
feel heard,but letting them feel understood.
Empathetic listening.

And the final two I'll give you are a slight
gender stereotype, but the research does bear
out that men and women listen in different

Men tend to listen in what I call a reductive
way. That is for a point. There's an objective
to a conversation between two men,
he's saying to him, "I've got this problem",
he's saying, "there's a solution", "thanks!"
That's a male conversation. (Laughter)

Women on the other hand tend to enjoy the
journey, the destination's not so important.
It's just being with -- look at the eye contact
there. Men are genetically programmed in
hunting, to be looking at the horizon as they
talk to each other. We don't look at each other
that much. Women, very much more eye contact,
and it's expansive listening.

This creates another conflict in relationships.
If you're not conscious of it,men, be conscious
that women may be listening expansively, and
may feel cut off. If you say, "Yep, well,
what's the point?" Women on the other hand, may
not understand that men want to find a solution
very quickly. It's not rude, it's just the way
we tend to listen. But again, if you're
conscious, you can adopt different listening
positions,it's very powerful.

Let me give you a little acronym which you can
use in listening to other people talk:
the acronym is applicable in any relationship,
one of these will apply to all of you: several,
probably. The acronym you can use is R.A.S.A.
Rasa is a sanskrit word, it means "juice." It's
also used in Indian theater to indicate an
emotional state. So it's quite an appropriate

RASA: it stands for Receive, that is to say
make eye contact with the person who's talking.
Look interested, lean forward slightly, and
listen. Appreciate. That means little noises
like "Hmm, oh," very important on the
telephone. I'm very bad at this, on telephone
calls, I'm regularly having people saying: "
Are you still there?" (Laughter) So very
important. Hhm, really! oh! It helps the
person. Summarize: the word 'so' is very
important in listening. So -- this -- So I hear
that -- So -- Summarizing what I just said,
and then asking questions: What do we do next?
So what does that mean? So what'll happen next?
It's engaged!

RASA. That's a very good way to listen to

Listen to the entire TED Talk:

This excerpt runs from 12:38 - 16:59 in the
original speech.

To listen to an earlier excerpt of this speech
with a quiz on this website, go to Quiz #25923,
"We are losing our listening in the modern

Read a short summary of the talk here:

Another article about how to be a better
listener can be found here:

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