Jul 29, 2010

What Are Some Common Errors in Active Listening?

Common Errors in Active Listening

The following eight faults result from the listener's failing to stay tuned in with the speaker's feelings or the inability of the listener to keep his/her own ideas or feelings out of the listening process.


Speaker: "I'm really mad that Tracy has been flirting with my boyfriend."


Over Listening

Overshooting: Exaggerating the feeling the speaker expressed.
"You really hate Tracy."

Adding: Generalizing or expanding what the speaker is saying.
"You hope you never see Tracy again."

Rushing: Predicting what the speaker will say next.
"And you're probably thinking of what to do about it."

Analyzing: Interpreting speaker's motives.
"Maybe you're upset because she's so cute."

Under Listening

Undershooting: Downplaying the feelings the speaker expressed.
"You wish Tracy would mind her own business."

Omitting: Reducing or skipping important facts expressed by the speaker.
"You're upset with girls who come on to guys."

Lagging: Backtracking or failing to keep pace with the speaker.
"You said earlier that you're having a bad day."

Parroting: Repeating back nearly word-for-word what the speaker said.
"You're mad at Tracy for flirting with your boyfriend."*

*Excerpt from Dr. Thomas Gordon's F.E.T. Young Adult Resource Book

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