Being able to have a simple conversation coherently, and following the thread of a complex and profound thought, both have to do with the ability to listen. Many persons avoid conferences, for example, because they know they have low ability and disposition to listen; many students cannot summarize what was discussed at a class because for a large part of it they evaded mentally the act of listening; many conversations end up in misunderstandings or incomprehension, because the message is incorrectly said or heard; many frictions may have their origin in bad listening: how many times do I have to repeat the same thing?
So, what is listening correctly? Sara Melgar (1999), in her book “Learn to listen”, points out that a good listener is characterized by the mastering of five aptitudes:
- The ability to regroup the different parts of a discourse, and thus being able to deduct the main idea or main ideas
- The ability to quickly discern what is close or diverts from the subject
- The ability to make logic deductions from what was understood
- The ability to fully use the keys of verbal context (allusions, key words, transitions…)
- The ability to follow, without getting lost, a complex reasoning
Students, gradually and adapted to different age ranges, from pre-school to post-graduate studies, can learn how to listen better and, therefore, make more use of it.