Tuning In To Listener Feedback

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Re: Question about tuning into listener feedback

From: Kathy Scaler Scott
Date: 22 Apr 2010
Time: 07:54:42 -0500
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Good question. When eye contact is not practical, then I think the speaker needs to be trained to listen for other auditory cues, such as a "huh?", "what was that?"; clarifying questions (e.g. "You went where last night?"); or changes in the listener's tone that may indicate they are no longer following you. So often I find my clients just ignore clarifying questions even when they are asked and continue speaking. I emphasize with them that the listener is asking such a question because they WANT to understand your message, and when you fail to answer the question, the listener will eventually become lost and tune you out. So it is important to answer them. I think often they don't because they feel they will lose track of what they are saying. This is where you can also train the listener to help the speaker come back to their message after they have answered the clarifying question, peraphs by saying something like, "You were talking about...." Again, this happens normally in conversations with others...we are speaking...we respond to a question, and sometimes we lose track and ask our listener, "So where was I?" It may happen more often to someone with cluttering, but the strategy can be applied just as in a normal conversation. As far as age range, I think as long as the child is old enough to understand how to repair a communication breakdown (i.e. they can understand when someone is confused and can learn to apply a strategy, such as repeating what they said) they can work with this strategy, as can older children, teens, and adults (with language presented differently to each level). Hope it helps.

Last changed: 05/06/10