Oral History Interview & Importance - Part 19

Listening Carefully (1)

Hamid Qazvini
Translated by Natalie Haghverdian

2017-08-29


Listening carefully to the speaker is a skill vital to establishing human relations and plays a crucial role in conducting interviews. Basically, all arrangements for interviews are carefully done to listen to the narrator carefully and record them.

Most of us falsely believe that we are good listeners while hearing someone is different from listening. Hearing is the ability of receiving voices while listening requires deep focus and employs other senses. Hearing is an accidental and involuntary incident and includes all the noises and voices we receive from our surrounding; while listening is an active action in a well-informed process which occurs based on our will.

To listen we not only have to hear the event which is being recounted but requires deep understanding of the narrator’s intention and care for his/her tone, speech and body language. In other words, listening implies understanding both verbal and non-verbal communications at the same time. Hence, only hearing words shall not suffice and listening requires more. It means that all senses and detection capacity shall be employed to pay close attention to what the narrator has to say.

In simple words, a good listener not only listens to what is being said but pays attention to what is not said or fully stated. For instance, when one claims to have a good recollection of an incident but eyes and facial movements do not comply with such claim or when eyes are filled with tears then there is a discrepancy between speech and emotions. In fact, listening carefully implies close screening of the body language and detecting potential inconsistencies in the verbal and non-verbal communications of the narrator. On the other hand, be aware that the narrator is fully capable to assessing our care and attention to the story.

Anyway, bear in mind that failure to dominate the listening skill will not only insult the narrator but also damage the interview.

 

Preparation for Listening

Keep calm at the beginning of the interview and concentrate on the narrator. Clear your head of everything and anything else. Human mind slips easily so make an effort to clear out all other irrelevant thoughts and focus on the story told by the narrator. Unfortunately, in some cases we see interviews where the interviewer has had the least concentration and focus which has obliged the narrator to make an effort to attract attention which is unacceptable.

 

Importance of Silence & Patience

While speaking or when the narrator is not expecting any answers, don’t interrupt them; don’t complete their sentences and let them finish their words. When over, talk about what is said and elaborate to make sure that you’ve understood them properly. Hence, be patient and let them finish. When the narrator pauses don’t lead the discussion immediately and to finish their sentences with your words. In a seconds pause don’t ask further questions which disrupt the narrator’s concentration. While listening, time shall be given to the narrator to summon his thoughts and emotions.

 

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 1 - Oral History, Path to Cultural Dialogue

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 2 - Characteristics of an Interviewer

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 3 - Selecting a Subject

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 4 - Narrator Identification & Selection

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 5 - Goal Setting

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 6 - Importance of Pre-interview Data Collection

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 7 - To Schedule & Coordinate an Interview

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 8 - Required Equipment & Accessories

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 9 - Presentation is vital

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 10 - Interview Room

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 11 - Pre-interview Justifications

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 12 - How to Start an Interview

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 13 - Proper Query

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 14 - Sample Query

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 15 - How to ask questions?

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 16 - Body Languag

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 17 - Application of Body Language (1)

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 18 - Application of Body Language (2)

 



 
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