2-15. LISTENING SKILLS
We hear the voices of many people during our working day. We also hear many
other sounds. We hear, but we do not always listen.
a. Selective Listening. We are consciously or unconsciously very selective
about listening. This will carry over to what we hear in a classroom, from a videotape or
from an audiotape. Sometimes an important point is missed because, even though you
heard it, you were not listening.
b. Combating Selective Listening. In any Army classroom, the student
frequently has a lesson outline with stated objectives. By reading these objectives
before the class begins, the student has the advantage of forewarning about the
important points where careful listening is required. This outline can also build student
interest and hold the students' attention during class. The student must hear and
understand the words which are spoken before any learning is possible.
c. Listening Processes. These are processes that are necessary for careful
(1) Get the message the speaker is sending. A speaker with a heavy
accent or a very soft voice may need to repeat until the students get used to his voice.
(2) Students should attend to gestures, facial expressions, and other
nonverbal messages. These generally enhance the spoken words.
(3) Students who are confused or need something repeated should ask
questions immediately. The instructor should be willing to answer this kind of question
without waiting until the end of the point.
(4) All presented material should be compared and related to past lessons
and experiences. If there are incongruities, they should be checked out.
2-16. TAKING NOTES
It is a rare person who can remember everything he hears and everything he
reads without making any notes. After the class is over or you have finished reading the
assignment, your knowledge of the material is not likely to be any better than the notes
you have written. When review time comes, a messy crowded set of notes is likely to
be difficult to use. Find somewhere else to doodle. You will probably need to revise
your notes after class, especially if they are crowded or you wrote unnecessary items.
Record only the facts and details that pertain to the lesson objectives.