effective listening

lyndrey niles, Ph.D.

April 22, 2009

Video Segments

  1. What is effective listening?
  2. How good is your listening?
  3. What are the barriers to effective listening?
  4. What strategies can listeners use to improve their listening?
  5. How can speakers help students listen more effectively?


According to Dr. Lyndrey Niles, Professor Emeritus of Communication, when we communicate, we spend nearly 45% of our time listening rather than speaking, reading, or writing.  Yet, he observes, “we spend the most time learning how to write,” and “we spend the least amount of time learning to listen.”  Dr. Niles attributes this irony to the assumption that we automatically listen when we hear.  But since listening requires concentration, he warns, “Because you are hearing, you’re not necessarily listening.”  Therefore, in this video, Dr. Niles identifies common barriers to effective listening, strategies faculty and students can adopt to listen better, and strategies that faculty can use during their lectures to help students listen more effectively.