5 whole minutes without interrupting W r i t i n g
Listening Exercise — Can you give someone your attention for 5 minutes?
Begin this assignment by practicing your listening skills. I want you to take an opportunity to listen to someone and try to give them your full attention. You can do this over the phone, via zoom or skype, but it is best to do it in person, if that is possible. Next time you are engaged in a conversation with someone, take a quick look at a clock or your phone to see what time it is. See if you can listen for 5 whole minutes without interrupting or taking over the conversation. It is ok to respond with things like “Uh huh” or “Really?” but don’t interrupt the person with your own observations until the 5 minutes is up. I realize that some people will stop talking or ask you a question before it has been 5 minutes. If that happens, try again. Don’t let the person you are listening to know what you are doing until after your experiment is over. Before you try this, read through the tips for better listening from this week’s module and keep them in mind as you listen. Listening for 5 minutes without interrupting is a beautiful gift to give someone you care about.
After your listening experience, think about how it felt. Then write a one page reflection paper. You are not required to do any research for this assignment. You are meant to think about the experience and reflect on it. Your paper should be one page (with 12 point type and reasonable spaces and margins). I expect college level writing in your paper. Please be thoughtful and honest in your reflection paper. You should answer the following questions in your paper.
Who did you listen to and what was the general topic of the conversation? You don’t need to give any details here, just the general idea.
When and where was it?
Were you able to make it for 5 whole minutes without interrupting or taking over the conversation? Or did you find yourself interrupting or taking over before the 5 minutes was up?
If so, what did it feel like to listen for 5 whole minutes? Is this type of listening normal for you? Some of you may find that you have never listened to someone for 5 whole minutes before.
If not, what kept you from being able to complete the exercise?
Did you try any of the tips for better listening? Which one(s)? Did it help in any way?
Read over the list of Types of Nonlistening in Module 7. Which of those have you found yourself guilty of? Is there one you engage in more than any others?
Moving forward, what can you do to improve your listening?